HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Dec. 5, 2005

Dassel Fire Department lands $168,150 grant

By Lynda Jensen

Major equipment upgrades are on the way for the Dassel Fire Department thanks to a $168,150 grant recently awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Association arm of the federal government.

“We are excited,” commented Dennis Johnson of the fire department, who is part of the grant committee that secured the grant. Other members of the committee are Brian Gillman, Chad Terpstra, Keith Day and Doug Bollman.

The department is required to match 5 percent of the total amount of the project, which amounts to $177,000; or $8,850, Johnson said.

The grant is tagged for specific purchases that were outlined on the application, and will cover such items as a new air compressor, new helmets and boots, and a ventilation system for each truck in the truck bay at the fire hall.

One major piece of equipment tagged for replacement is the department air compressor, which fills the air packs for firefighters.

The existing compressor is 18 years old, which has exceeded its lifespan by about four years, Johnson said.

The new compressor will fill three air packs at a time, where the existing one fills one.

Handheld radios are also on the list, as well as a new rapid intervention team kit, which is used to rescue firefighters who have faulty air packs.

The grant also allows for upgrades to personal protection equipment. For this, the department plans to replace 21 sets of turnout gear, six air packs, 12 face pieces, 30 helmets, and 30 pairs of boots.

The department will also receive an upgrade to the fire hall with new ventilation systems for each of the six trucks in the truck bay.

Currently, the fire department has two pumpers, two grass rigs, one tanker, and one rescue truck.

There are 29 members of the department, with 30 being a fully staffed department.

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