South King Fire & Rescue received word Jan. 25 that they would be receiving a $400,000 federal grant to assist them in replacing an aging fleet of Defibrillators on their emergency response fire engines and EMS units.
“These life-saving devices can restart a quivering heart following a cardiac event if applied within the window of opportunity only provided by a quick response,” they said in a statement.
Following a severe decline in property values, South King Fire limited capital purchasing in an effort to keep firefighters on the street allowing response times to stay low giving those citizens suffering cardiac events the best chance of surviving.
A recent passage of an excess levy and the relief of a FEMA staffing grant are allowing the re-staffing of a previously closed EMS this year despite another revenue dip of almost 8% towards 2013 revenues producing a 28% reduction in revenue since 2009.
The grant will allow a purchase of 14 Defibrillators at a cost of $499,812. The grant is an 80/20 matching grant giving $399,849 towards the purchase while SKFR will come up with $99,962 out of its limited cash reserves. “The return on these matching funds makes accepting the award fiscally responsible”, said Fire Board Chairman Bill Gates. The department also was awarded an $89,000 training program grant, bringing the total federal award share to $471,441.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) implements and administers the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) Grants.
“These grants bring back locally generated federal taxes to provide financial assistance to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of our community” said Fire Chief Al Church.
Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and meet the growing demands of Emergency Medical Services. South King Fire has progressively pursued these federal funds bringing nearly $2 million back to the Federal Way and Des Moines communities.