Firefighters of Lugoff Fire-Rescue recently received another large federal grant award from the FEMA AFG Grant Program for $74,780.00. The funds were awarded to purchase a new 6000 psi breathing air compressor and fill station to be installed at the Lugoff Headquarters Fire Station. The current breathing air compressor is over 20 years old with numerous repair issues resulting in large repair costs and time out of service. The current system also limits firefighters to only 4500 psi of breathing air where all the new trucks carrying breathing air fill systems are rated at 6000 psi.
“I received a call from US Senator Lindsey Graham’s Office on a Tuesday letting me know that our grant award would be made and announced the following Friday. That is a phone call we always appreciate getting to let us know we have federal grant funds coming back to the Lugoff Community!” said Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray.
Lugoff Fire-Rescue is currently seeking proposals for a new system from various vendors and will be performing minor station renovations in order to accommodate the new equipment. The new equipment will include a 3-4 cylinder containment compartment, a 15-20 HP motor, a hose reel to fill mobile cascade fill systems, storage for four (4) 6000 psi storage cylinders, and capability for Class E breathing air to fill dive cylinders. Lugoff staff plan to have the new system installed, in service, and staff training competed in the fall of 2017.
“We have been submitting for this same grant for several years with no success until this year. We do not give up easily. This equipment will provide our firefighters a continuous supply of breathing air for all of our cylinders and refill systems on our apparatus. Several other departments and industrial fire brigades in the county also use our compressor to fill its cylinders and air refill systems; so this new equipment will benefit their operations as well. This grant is another example of our success in following through with our promise to our Board of Fire Commissioners, County Council, and our taxpayers to seek additional funding in as many areas as possible other than normal tax revenue to fulfill the demands of our mission. The timing of this grant is perfect at an especially challenging time for us this budget year from another reduction in tax revenues and significantly increased expenses beyond our control; the most challenging budget I have faced in the 7 years I have been Chief of the Department” Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray stated.
Lugoff Fire-Rescue has been awarded $1,127,460 in federal grant funds to date for equipment, training, hiring new firefighters, hiring a Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, and funds for the recruitment and retention of Volunteer Firefighters. This fund total does not include other national, state and local grant awards received in the past 7 years.