The City of Anna has been very successful in securing a number of grants for a variety of projects. City parks, especially Slayter Creek Park, have benefited, the Police Department was successful in acquiring much needed equipment, and now the Fire Department is testing the proverbial grant waters.

As AFD Chief Tim Gothard explained, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (FEMA) has opened up the application period for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The grant allows departments to apply for equipment with the city’s matching portion set by the number of citizens served.

"Anna Fire Department serves less than 20,000 citizens, so our matching contribution would be a five percent match," Gothard pointed out.

Anna Fire Department is applying for grants in two categories — equipment and apparatus.

"We would like to replace our 12 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA’s) with new ones that meet the current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard," said Gothard. The current SCBA’s were purchased using the 2002 NFPA standard and the current NFPA standard is 2013. The current cylinders are also nearing the end of their life cycle. According to Gothard, the cost of 12 SCBA’s with extra cylinders and individual masks is $105,468. With the grant the cost to Anna would be $5,273.

"With the current and future growth the city is experiencing, and is expecting to experience, a fire truck with an aerial device should be considered for fire protection," said Gothard. An aerial device is basically a ladder that can be raised to spray water. "We have three story apartments coming, we have big buildings such as the high school and we will have more big buildings in the future."

A base unit that would meet current and future needs would run around $850,000, according to Gothard. There is also an estimated $400,000 in equipment that would have to be added to the fire engine, for a total cost of $1,250,000. With the grant Anna would pay $62,500.

The grant application period will end on Dec. 6, with award notifications beginning in February.