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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nashua Fire Rescue lands lucrative grants totaling close to $1 million

NASHUA – Nashua Fire Rescue has had a profitable few weeks.

Nearly $1 million in federal grant money has received the stamp of approval this summer and will be heading the Gate City’s way soon, including one grant that will pay for a new mobile training facility. ...

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NASHUA – Nashua Fire Rescue has had a profitable few weeks.

Nearly $1 million in federal grant money has received the stamp of approval this summer and will be heading the Gate City’s way soon, including one grant that will pay for a new mobile training facility.

The city’s Board of Fire Commissioners accepted nearly $500,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant at its meeting on Monday, bringing the federal addition to city coffers to more than $964,000 when combined with another grant from the same program for contained breathing apparatus, according to fire officials.

“To win two grants of that size is very fortunate for us and the city,” NFR Assistant Chief Steve Galipeau said.

The city is lucky to get one such grant in most years, he said.

The grant accepted earlier this summer – around $465,000 to buy 65 self-contained breathing apparatus, or SCBAs – will allow the department to leave a capital reserve account for the equipment unspent, Galipeau said.

The city bought the current stock of SCBAs around 2000, and all of them will be reaching or nearing the end of their serviceable lives in the next fiscal year, he said.

“By winning this grant, we are able to not eat up that chunk of change from the city’s funds,” Galipeau said. “Getting this grant was a big help for the city.”

The grant for $498,950 that fire commissioners accepted last week will pay for a 50- by 75-foot, prefabricated and mobile training structure that will call NFR’s training grounds near the Four Hills Landfill home.

The building will allow firefighters to practice a number of procedures not possible at the smaller concrete structure at the training grounds, Galipeau said, including small-space entries, repelling and interior stairwell attacks.

The steel building will be equipped with gas hookups so trainers can simulate a number of types of fires and smoke conditions, he said.

“There’s a hundred-and-one uses for it,” Galipeau said.

While technically the building – called a training prop – is mobile, it will still take four to five months to build it, and that can only happen after the money is officially accepted by aldermen and site work at the training grounds is completed.

Galipeau said Nashua firefighters, as well as any of the city’s mutual aid partners, will hopefully be able to start using the building by June.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote
on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).