The Vancouver Fire Department received $439,676 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the department announced Friday afternoon.
The FEMA grant will be used to purchase thermal imaging cameras to help firefighters see through smoke. The funds will also be used for specialized training, allowing staff to learn more about responding to hazardous materials incidents.
“These grant funds are an essential part of improving the life-saving capabilities of the Vancouver Fire Department, allowing us to move forward with replacing vitally important equipment and provide specialized training to our first responders,” Fire Chief Joe Molina said in a press release.
About $186,000 will be used to purchase the 21 thermal cameras. They’re useful for identifying people at a fire scene, and for helping firefighters discern where a fire started. The information helps firefighters make more informed decisions about how to handle a blaze, the press release states.
The remaining $254,000 will support specialized training in responding to chemical spills, gas leaks and other hazardous materials.
“The city of Vancouver is grateful for the support of our congressional delegation in securing this grant,” Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said in the press release. She thanked Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground.