The Clinton Fire Department recently received more than $3,000 in grant money that will be used toward installing state-of-the-art technology on fire trucks.
Clinton fire chief Adon Snyder said the recently received grant funding from Factory Mutual Global, in the amount of $2,318, and Walmart, which awarded $1,000, will fund the purchase and installation of computer tablets and response system software.
“What we’re trying to do is put the technology on fire trucks so we can have more information and be able to respond and handle incidents more efficiently,” Snyder pointed out.
The plan is to eventually have that tablet technology available on all fire apparatus and command vehicles, allowing firefighters to be better prepared before arriving at an emergency. Among the capabilities of the technology, the software will provide instant and continuous access to valuable information such as type of structure, type of occupancy, structure floor plans, along with possible hazardous materials, fire hydrant locations and pressures, as well as turn-by-turn directions during response.
“The ultimate goal is to get that technology on all fire trucks,” the fire chief said.
The tablets and software will combine to provide a cornerstone for a citywide fire prevention program, offering invaluable information at firefighters’ fingertips, he remarked.
“Having this information available to the front-line fire suppression personnel prior to arriving on the scene is a major milestone in fire department technology,” said Snyder. “The Clinton Fire Department is very grateful for the grant opportunities that Factory Mutual and Walmart provide to our community. Programs like these allow us to provide high quality service to our citizens.”
While the process to purchase and install the equipment on all trucks will be ongoing, the grants received, he said, are a good start toward ultimately improving fire response and suppression.
“It’s a good start,” the fire chief reiterated. “It’s an important start. It’s an important step forward in trying to bring us into the new millennium in many ways. There’s a lot of technology out there, but for smaller departments, a lot of them are too expensive.”
Beyond the actual physical equipment in the tablets, there are other cost associated with getting the technology up and running, including the software itself and licenses to operate them. Snyder said the full implementation will likely happen a ways down the line, but trucks and other response vehicles will be outfitted with the devices as the funding allows.
Snyder said grants are essential is ensuring that improvements can be made that could one day save lives.
That is what makes small grant programs like the separate ones offered by Factory Mutual and Walmart vital to community departments, Snyder noted. Those grant programs, as well as similar funding opportunities, are always explored in an effort to save tax dollars while improving infrastructure and services — every grant helps, he said.
“We’re always pursuing (grants) as we can identify them. It’s important that these (grant) programs exist and that we can identify them and benefit from them,” said Snyder. “We’re excited about it.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.