Fire Dept. seeks $1M grant for aerial rig

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The potential application for a $1 million FEMA grant on behalf of the Rome Fire Department is among agenda items for an upcoming Common Council meeting, according to city records.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in the Common Council chambers at 198 N. Washington St.

At the meeting, resolution 35, if approved, would allow the city’s fire department to apply for and accept a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for a new aerial apparatus in an amount not to exceed $1,000,000 with a 10 percent match from the city, which would be bonded, said Fire Chief Ronald Brement.

“We apply for these every year,” he said. This go-around, Brement said his department is hoping to secure funds for the purchase of a new aerial ladder truck.

The current 100-foot ladder truck is a 2006 Sutphen and has exceeded the recommended use span, Brement said.

“They say to replace them every 10 years,” he adds, noting safety standards.

Brement said there are no particular replacement models in mind at the moment.

“We are just trying to get our ducks in a row,” he said, with a purchase coming, “at some point in the next year” if the grant funding is received from FEMA.

Other agenda items include: 

• Resolution 39 would allow the City of Rome Police Department to accept a donation of tactical masks. According to documents, Catholic Charities of Herkimer County made a donation of $1,276 to be used by the police department to purchase the equipment.

Rome Police Capt. Cheyenne Schoff said the gift will provide for the purchase of two masks that can be worn by tactical team members in situations when there is the presence of a gas or toxin in the air. The two will be added to the 10 already owned by the 15-person special response team.

• Ordinance 9400 would authorize the issue of a serial bond not to exceed $50,000 to finance the purchase of a SWAT team deployment vehicle.

Schoff said that the department is looking to replace a 2003 Chevrolet Conversion van currently being used for the job with a unicell-style vehicle that can be customized for all of the departments tactical operations.

The project is currently going through the bid process, Schoff indicated. 

Schoff said the tactical vehicle is used in real world situations about 5 times per year as well as monthly training activities.

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