09.12.17

Peters, Stabenow Announce Over $300,000 in Fire Prevention Funding for Grand Rapids Fire Department

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today announced Grand Rapids Fire Department will receive $347,781 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program to expand local fire prevention programs in residential areas of Grand Rapids and provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

“Investing in local fire prevention efforts goes a long way toward saving lives during emergencies,” said Senator Peters. “With this funding, the Grand Rapids Fire Department can continue their important fire safety education program and ensure homes throughout the community have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.”

“Our firefighters in Grand Rapids put their lives on the line to protect our families and homes,” said Senator Stabenow. “Prevention is key and these resources will help save lives and the treasured possessions of so many families.”

“The Grand Rapids Fire Department has been extremely successful at managing our residential safety program over the past several years, and has seen positive and measurable outcomes,” said John Lehman, Grand Rapids Fire Department Fire Chief. “Adding carbon monoxide alarms to our existing program will increase the safety of our citizens and ultimately have a potentially lifesaving impact on the community that we serve.”

Residential fires account for 89 percent of all fire-related injuries and 66 percent of fire-related property loss in Grand Rapids. As of September 6, 2017, the Grand Rapids Fire Department has performed home safety assessments in 7,217 homes and installed 44,556 ten year lithium smoke alarms. Participants in the department’s fire safety program experience 64 percent fewer structure fires than non-participants.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants program has positively affected public safety by providing nearly $7.3 billion since 2001 for fire prevention and safety equipment.

Eligible fire departments and Emergency Medical Services organizations in Michigan and across the country can apply for Assistance to Firefighters Grants. These competitive grants help first responders purchase the equipment and obtain the training needed to handle fire-related hazards. More information about the grant can be found at http://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program.