CAMARILLO, CA. – Ventura County Fire has received a $2 million federal grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to upgrade its protective breathing equipment.
Funds awarded by the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program will be used to purchase 388 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and six high-pressure breathing air compressor systems.
FEMA will cover 90 percent of the grant while Ventura County Fire will be responsible for a 10 percent matching share.
The newly purchased SCBAs will replace five breathing air compressor systems that are more than 18 years old and currently in use at five fire stations. The sixth unit will be installed at the Regional Training Center in Camarillo, which is a central location where it will be available to neighboring agencies that need to refill air tanks.
VCFD also expects to save approximately $80,000 a year in maintenance costs as a result of manufacturer warranties on the new equipment, which will be in effect for five to 15 years depending on the type of repair.
Since 2001, these highly competitive grants have helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.