Delaware fire school gets $439,000 federal grant

DOVER — A steady rain curtailed the drama of a fire suppression demonstration on Monday morning, but that mattered little.

Just minutes earlier, Delaware State Fire School staff celebrated receipt of a $439,091 federal grant designed to add equipment to training exercises.

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., said Delaware’s quality of life improves when firefighters operate more safely and increase protection for those they serve.

The new legislator serves on the Congressional Fire Caucus with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del. U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who voiced his support for the fire service during his visit to the fire school on Monday.

For the fourth straight year, the First State will receive grant money through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The U.S. Fire Administration administers the grants.

Delaware Fire School Training Administrator Tucker Dempsey, right, explains the operation of a Thermal Imaging Camera to U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons on Monday morning. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

In 2017, the money will provide a forcible entry trailer, an ambulance simulator, and several hazardous materials training props, including a rail and tank trailer.

Previous grants went toward:

2013 — Instructor fire gear, radios, and some computer and projection equipment.

2014 — Fire engine and a car fire simulation prop.

2015 — The burn prop you saw and an additional car fire prop (for DSFS Sussex training center).

DSFS Training Administrator Tucker Dempsey wrote the grant request after staff submitted a request for Director Robert Newnam’s to narrow and approve. The
Fire School provided 10 percent of the grant — $43,909 — as required by federal guidelines.

“They look for equipment that we think would be beneficial that might otherwise not be funded out of our budget,” Mr. Dempsey said.

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