Wyden, Merkley Secure $100,000 in Federal Assistance to Oregon Firefighters

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced last week that three Oregon fire districts will receive a combined nearly $100,000 in federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG).  

“Every day, firefighters in local fire districts—both union and volunteer—put their lives on the line to protect our communities in Oregon,” Wyden said. “Local firefighters have been on the front lines of fire season this year and every year. They deserve the equipment and training to do their jobs to the best of their abilities so that our friends, neighbors, and loved ones can continue to stay safe.”  

“Oregon’s firefighters work tirelessly, risking their lives to keep our homes and communities safe. It is crucial for local fire districts to have the resources they need,” Merkley said.  “This funding will ensure that the dedicated firefighters in Coos Bay, Siletz, and Sheridan are well equipped and prepared to keep protecting the Oregonians they serve.” 

AFG grants help firefighters and first responders obtain essential resources to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel from fire and other related hazards. The Oregon communities receiving these grants are as follows: 

City of Coos Bay – $32,380 

Siletz Rural Fire Protection District – $34,238 

Sheridan Fire District – $35,238 

“Without this support, many communities – including Coos Bay – would be forced to utilize tools that are obsolete. Coos Bay Fire Department will replace our outdated Thermal Imaging Cameras (TIC). These TICs allow firefighters to see through smoke and low light environments to find hot spots or even victims by using the temperature differences to create a picture,” said Mark R. Anderson, Fire Chief Coos Bay Fire Department. “The firefighters of Coos Bay are keenly aware of the value of this tool since it was 20 years ago (November 25, 2002) that three Coos Bay firefighters were killed in a fire. The following investigation revealed that having Thermal Imaging Cameras may likely have prevented this tragedy.  The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is a vital partnership with our nation’s fire service agencies; providing the support needed to serve their communities. I would like to thank Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as our other elected officials that have fought to continue funding this important FEMA grant.” 

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