Grant funds better training for Delaware firefighters [video]

 Sen. Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester talk to firefighters at Delaware State Fire School in Dover. (photo courtesy DSFS)

Sen. Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester talk to firefighters at Delaware State Fire School in Dover. (photo courtesy DSFS)

A federal grant will help the Delaware State Fire School purchase new equipment to better train firefighters in the First State.

The fire school will use the $439,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant to purchase equipment including a new forcible entry trailer and an ambulance simulator. The school will also buy equipment designed to teach firefighters to respond to hazardous material incidents on rail cars and tanker trailers.

It’s the fourth year in a row the fire school has been awarded grant funding. “Competing successfully for these grants has been a challenge over many years that our offices have been happy to work together to make sure that you’ve got the resources and support,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware. “We have the strongest fire service in the country, and that’s one of the reason we are the strongest state in the country.”

Helping firefighters is a personal issue for Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Delaware. Her cousin is a Wilmington firefighter who lost his partner in last year’s fatal fire that killed three city firefighters. “I think about that every day, and I will tell you this infusion of capital is important, because to the extent that you are safe and able to do your jobs, to the extent that people in our homes are safe, that makes the quality of life in Delaware an incredible place,” Blunt Rochester said.

The grant requires the fire school to match 10 percent of the federal funds, or nearly $44,000.

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