South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Federal grant allows city to purchase two new aerial ladder trucks


March 25, 2008

The City of Pittsburgh has used federal grant of $1.675 million to purchase two new aerial fire trucks and additional equipment for the fire department.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl gathered firefighters and community members at Fire Station No. 23 in Carrick to celebrate public investment in fire equipment for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire (PBF).

Noting that the cost of purchasing the two trucks was in excess of $1.1 million the mayor added, "we can't do it alone, we need help from the state level and the federal level."

U.S. Congressman Doyle, standing in front of the newly purchased equipment, presented the mayor with a ceremonial check representing the grant.

"I've been making the case in Washington that first responders in Pittsburgh and cities across the country deserve state-of-the-art equipment when they put their lives on the line to protect their friends and neighbors. That's why I've been pushing to preserve and increase federal assistance for firefighters in southwestern Pennsylvania and across the country for years," Congressman Mike Doyle said.

"Gone are the days when fire companies could finance their operations with fish fries and bingos," the congressman said.

The money was obtained through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

"No longer will the city receive letters that our ladder trucks are not meeting national standards," Mayor Ravenstahl said. "Since 2006, we have been aggressively updating aging fire equipment. I am happy to inform the people of Pittsburgh that 10 out of 11 city ladder trucks are brand new-we are no longer playing a game of catch-up."

The grant allowed for the PBP to purchase two aerial ladder trucks, and 29 diesel exhaust systems, which will prevent fire fighters from breathing in hazardous exhaust fumes.

"It is just as important that we invest in the health and safety of our men and women on the job," Mayor Ravenstahl added.

Nationally, the AFG awards, which will be distributed in phases, will provide approximately $490 million to fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations throughout the country. The AFG awards aim to enhance response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public with respect to fire and other hazards.


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