Washington County Fire Department awarded grant

SUNNY HILLS – Volunteers with Washington County Fire Department’s Sunny Hills station saw a much-needed equipment upgrade this week, thanks to a Florida Firefighter Assistance Grant.

The grant totaled $39,489.70 and was used to purchase five new air tanks, as well as spare bottles and rechargeable battery packs. WCFD Chief Al Gothard states the 4500 psi G1 SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) tanks will replace old units with better, up to date equipment.

“SCBA are vital for the health and safety of firefighters,” said Gothard.  “When in use, the SCBA keeps firefighters from breathing contaminated air and decrease the dangers of cancer. Having rechargeable battery packs for the units save hundreds of dollars each year in battery costs.”

“I thank the State of Florida for allowing small, rural departments like ours to access up to date equipment that we would normally not be able to afford,” he added. “These SCBA are a vital part of the equipment our firefighters need.”

The grant does not require any matching funds from the county and covered the entire cost of the equipment.