Edison FAS#2 Wins 2010 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awards Edison First Aid Squad #2 grant funds for the purchase of a new ambulance.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the awarding of $121,500 to Edison First Aid Squad #2 through the 2010 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program in support of the purchase of a new ambulance for the squad. The award is given annually on a competitive basis to Fire and EMS programs around the country to support first responders in improving their response capabilities and enhancing homeland security.

The award, the first of it’s kind one by the squad, comes after several years of failed attempts. This year, squad grant program chairman Alvin Ng, FF, EMT-B spent many additional hours researching and working with professionals in putting together the winning application. “The process is very specific, very formulaic” said Ng, “you have to demonstrate a specific need and layout your exact plan for best use of the funds.”

The squad, which primarily serves the northern section of Edison Township of about 9 square miles, has been operating with only 2 ambulance for the past 3 years after 2 of the older fleet vehicles, each over 15 years old, became unserviceable and too expensive to further repair. With donations from residents flat for several years, a slumping economy keeping fundraising projects lean, and no increase in support from the municipal government, the squad felt a grant of this nature was the only hope to secure a 3rd vehicle to ensure continued 9-1-1 response.

“With only 2 serviceable ambulances, if either one went down for maintenance or with a mechanical problem, only 1 ambulance was left to protect nearly 30,000 people. Often there were more volunteer crews than vehicles which could be staffed. This was far from an ideal situation”, said past-president and grant project member, Dan Januseski, EMT-B.

“I am pleased with the $121,500 FEMA award First Aid Squad #2 received for vehicle acquisition,” said Edison Mayor Ricigliano. “This works hand in hand with our efforts to encourage greater cooperation between Edison and the volunteer squads. This award better enables us to enter into a contract to provide the additional funding needed to ensure the best possible emergency medical services in Edison Township.”

Over the past year, over $400,000 in grant money has been awarded to fire departments in the sixth Congressional district to improve community emergency services. During fiscal year 2010, the AFG will continue to build on this progress in awarding another $390 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.

The squad has already formed a New Vehicle Design and Acquisition Committee, and hopes to take delivery of the new vehicle in late 2011. A dedication ceremony and christening is planned.