The Perry City Council at its last regular meeting approved the Perry Volunteer Fire Department’s application for a $27,569 grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program.
“What we’re looking at doing,” said Perry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Chris Hinds, “is switching from 2.5-inch supply lines like we currently use on the trucks to a 5-inch supply line.”
The grant application also includes a request for funding for updated hose couplings.
“The connections that we’re looking at are what are called Storz spinnings,” Hinds told the council. “They are a universal quarter-turn lock connection, so there’s no more threading a bunch of hoses together and having leaky threads and things like that. These are a much quicker and easier way to connect the hoses. In the past, with 2.5-inch lines, every hose had a male and female end on it. With the new stuff, universal ends, they’ll go either way, which makes it a lot easier for hooking up and makes it a lot quicker for us to go get hooked up to hydrants.”
With its 36-person volunteer firefighting crew, the Perry Volunteer Fire Department is responsible for providing fire protection to the Perry and Dawson coverage areas as well as to 36 township sections in Dallas County and 33.5 township sections in Boone County.
“We have a dire need to replace equipment and add equipment to our department,” Hinds wrote in the grant application.” He said the department’s “existing hose and adaptors are not compatible with a number of hydrants because the threads are special, non-standard. We do not have the fittings or supply hose necessary to protect our coverage area.”
The application requested grant funding for the following gear:
- 28 100-foot sections of 5-inch large diameter hose (LDH) supply hose
- 12 50-foot sections of 5-inch LDH supply hose
- eight 25-foot sections of 5-inch LDH supply hose
- 14 National-hose-thread-to-Storz fittings for 5-inch hose
- six special-threading Storz fittings for hydrants with non-standard threads
“This is our second attempt to get equipment under the AFG micro grant,” Perry’s application said. “We need funding badly.”
Perry City Council member Dean Berkland asked how many firefighters it would take to wield the new 5-inch hoses.
“It’s nothing that you would hold to fight the fire,” Hinds said. “These are supply lines from the hydrant to the truck or whatever. We’ve already got some with our ladder truck, about 300 feet. The guys have to load that by hand because we don’t have a roller for 300 feet. It’s quite a little bit of work. It makes them earn their pay on those.”
The council unanimously approved the resolution supporting the grant application submission.
“Thank you, Chris, for your work and for continuing to pursue these opportunities for grants,” said Perry Mayor John Andorf.
The primary goal of the AFG program, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency webiste, “is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and State Fire Training Academies. This funding is for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability and support community resilience.”