Money for training and equipment is drying up
Fire departments like the one in Ponderosa in north Harris County have been able improve training facilities and upgrade equipment through grant programs which have been on the books for a decade or more. Sequester is ending several of them.
Ponderosa Fire Chief Fred Windisch says, “The SAFER is about providing partial funding for hiring fulltime firefighters.”
Windisch says the federal grants helped his department make improvements it wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. The SAFER grant allowed Ponderosa to hire three firefighters.
Groups of firefighters traveled to Washington, D.C., yesterday to engage members of Congress.
“There is a reality, though, that there are budget cuts,” says Windisch. “The fire service is attempted state their case that these (grants) are more important than other items.”