PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Portsmouth Fire Department was awarded a more than $600,000 federal grant to replace its self-contained breathing apparatuses and its breathing air compressor, according to the city’s fire chief.
Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced Wednesday that the PFD was among four Virginia fire departments to be awarded a total of nearly $1.5 million in federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for “critically-needed resources,” according to a news release.
Portsmouth Fire Chief Jim Hoffler told 10 On Your Side in an email that the department applied for the money through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The department will use it to replace its 89 self-contained breathing apparatuses, which are worn by firefighters when they are responding to emergencies, and six rapid intervention team packs, which are used to rescue injured firefighters. Hoffler also said that the department will use a portion of the funding to replace its breathing air compressor.
Portsmouth was awarded $630,000 in grant money to replace equipment. The rest of the funding will be distributed between fire departments in Lexington, Manassas, and Bristol.
“It’s crucial for firefighters to have the tools necessary to best serve their communities,” Warner and Kaine wrote in a joint news release. “We’re pleased to announce this funding to help local fire departments across Virginia purchase equipment to enhance public safety.”