Nearly $1.3 million in federal grant awards
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security received nearly $1.3 million in federal grant awards recently to enhance training and resources for Indiana first responders and kickstart a statewide campaign to install 10,000 smoke detectors in Hoosier homes.
The funding will impact three specific areas across Indiana: 1) equipment and training for firefighters and emergency responders 2) fire prevention and safety in homes and 3) additional equipment and training related to hazardous chemicals. The total for the three awards is $1.29 million.
“These federal grants will help tremendously in our efforts to expand the resiliency of Indiana and help to mitigate disasters and loss of life,” said Bryan Langley, executive director of Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).
The grants, which were awarded following a lengthy application process, supplement the nearly $800,000 in federal funding IDHS returned to Indiana counties this year to support local emergency management projects and planning.
The Fire Prevention and Safety Grant ($521,130 for two years) primarily is geared toward reducing injury and preventing fire deaths in high-risk populations. In Indiana, more than 85 fatal fires have occurred so far in 2018, an increase from the previous year (72).
The Indiana State Fire Marshal will focus the grant funds on community risk reduction through a statewide smoke detector education and distribution campaign. The goal will be to install more than 10,000 smoke detectors and 1,000 shaking bed/strobe alarms for deaf and hard of hearing across the next two years. In addition, the “Get Alarmed Indiana” campaign is intended to enhance public safety education related to fire hazards for Hoosiers.
“The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is thrilled to have additional resources to really make a difference in protecting Hoosiers from fire-related hazards and death,” said Marshal Jim Greeson. “Too many people are losing their lives tragically in fires in homes with no working smoke detectors. This is a problem we can and will address through this program.”
Nationally, more than two-thirds of fatal fires occur in homes with no smoke detectors or detectors that did not function properly.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant ($372,856) will address the needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations in Indiana. This could include equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles and others resources for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related deaths.
The Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant($401,236) will provide much-needed hazardous materials training and equipment to assist the more than 820 fire departments across Indiana, 90 percent of which are staffed by volunteers. IDHS will use the funds to purchase equipment and training resources that will be made available to communities across the state.