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Fire department gets $299,250 Homeland Security grant for new truck

Published 7:25pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Persistence has paid off for the Alexander City Fire Department.

Congressman Mike Rogers announced Wednesday that a $299,250 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been awarded to help the department replace an aging and outdated truck.

“We are ecstatic,” ACFD Chief Kem Jones said Wednesday afternoon. “That truck was at a point where for safety reasons we were facing a situation where we were going to have to spend a lot to have it refurbished. With this grant, we will be able to instead get a new one, with only having to spend a fraction of what the repairs would have cost.

“We are so thankful and honored to have been chosen and we will put it to good use.”

Jones said a 1981 Mack, open-cabbed pumper truck that had been in constant use for more than three decades will be replaced.

Alexander City Mayor Charles Shaw congratulated the fire department for working so hard to get the grant. They had applied three times, and each year, they did more research and added elements to stress the need for the funds.

“We have a great fire department and a great chief and we are proud of their work. Especially how they stayed after it on this grant is another example of that,” Shaw said. “We would buy all kinds of things if we could do it like this – pay 15 or 20 percent on the dollar to get great new equipment.

“We are appreciative of Congressman Mike Rogers not only for this, but for all the things he assists of with. ”

Rogers said that the grant program is designed to help the people who help the community every day.

“Tallapoosa County’s first responders are our first line of defense,” Rogers said in a released statement. “I congratulate the men and women of Alexander City Fire Department for receiving this grant,  and hope it will ultimately help increase the safety for all local citizens.”

The grant is part of the 2013 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, an essential federal program which supports first responders across Alabama and the nation. The grant sends funds directly to fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations.

“I am pleased to see the federal government is continuing to make these types of investments in the Third District,” Rogers said.

Mitch Sneed / The Outlook  Alexander City Fire Deaprtment Firefighter Thomas Owens climbs into a 1981 Mack pumper truck that will now be able to be retired after a $299,250 grant from U.S. Department of Homeland Security was approved. The department had applied for the grant for three years.
Mitch Sneed / The Outlook
Alexander City Fire Deaprtment Firefighter Thomas Owens climbs into a 1981 Mack pumper truck that will now be able to be retired after a $299,250 grant from U.S. Department of Homeland Security was approved. The department had applied for the grant for three years.

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