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Poulsbo Fire Department awarded $160K grant
POULSBO – The Poulsbo Fire Department was awarded a $162,803 grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, spokeswoman Jody Matson announced May 6. The grant award will be used to install vehicle exhaust capture systems for Station 71 (911 Liberty Road, Poulsbo) and Station 72 (Surfrest) apparatus bays.
“Diesel exhaust in the fire stations is a daily health and safety issue for our firefighters and staff," said Battalion Chief Jim Gillard, who wrote the grant application. "Every time a vehicle is started and exits or returns into the apparatus bay, diesel exhaust is being expelled into the apparatus bays.
"This project will reduce the risk from exposure to diesel exhaust to the firefighters, support staff, and will ensure that any members of the public who tour or utilize fire department facilities are protected from the harmful long- and short-term effects of diesel exhaust.”
This grant is part of on-going efforts to increase safety and reduce harmful effects on the environment. In 2011, the Washington State Department of Ecology awarded Poulsbo Fire a $39,000 grant to install generators and back-up battery systems on emergency vehicles.
These new systems enable firefighters to turn off the engine and keep the emergency lights running, without draining the battery. This reduces carcinogenic emissions, while reducing expensive fuel consumption and expensive wear and tear on the large diesel engines. This idle reduction program proved to be a model for change throughout the fire service. Poulsbo Fire was also recently re-certified as a “5 Star” environmentally clean business by EnviroStars (www.envirostars.org).
“These grants have enabled the department to make improvements to our equipment and facilities when we could not have otherwise been able to afford it,” said Fire Chief Jeffrey Griffin.