Murray Announces Funding for Washington State Firefighters

Jul 10 2003

Over $1 million in federal grants will help Cowlitz, Mason, Pe Ell, Whatcom & Yakima firefighters

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced the release of $1,065,747 in federal funds for fire operations and firefighter safety for five Washington state fire departments.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray has supported full funding for the Assistance for Firefighters Program.

Last winter, in a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Murray called on President Bush to support increased resources for firefighters and other first responders. In February, Senator Murray met with Mason County Fire Chief Richard Knight who expressed his concerns and told Senator Murray his department desperately needed new equipment – personal protective gear, haz-mat suits and other materials.

“As I travel around our state meeting with constituents, I consistently hear concerns that echo those of Chief Knight,” said Senator Murray. “We must make sure that our firefighters have the most up-to-date equipment to do their jobs safely. That is why I am pleased to announce these grants to support fire operations and firefighter safety from Allyn to Yakima.”

“Mason County Fire District 5 is ecstatic to be awarded an Assistance for Firefighters grant, said Richard Knight, Mason County Fire Chief. “These funds will go a long ways in protecting firefighters’ safety and safe fireground operations. This grant award could not be more timely. Our self-contained breathing apparatus is reaching the end of its service life, and our personal protective equipment needs are great. This Assistance for Firefighters grant was one of the only ways we could purchase these badly-needed items without a deep financial burden on the District finances. We extend a special thank you to Senator Patty Murray for her support and continued support of the Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program.”

The following Washington fire departments will receive grant awards in this round of Assistance to Firefighters grants:

Cowlitz County Fire Protection District 5 $20,021
Mason County Fire Protection District 5 $255,299
Pe Ell Volunteer Fire Department $25,749
Whatcom County Fire District 14 $142,328
Yakima County Fire District 5 $622,350

These departments join 10 other Washington state fire departments who have received Assistance for Firefighters grants in 2003. Grants awarded under the United States Fire Administration’s “Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program” are distributed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate.