Congressman Visclosky announced that the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department received a grant under the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) program.
Captain Ross Steffel of the Department explained that the funds would be used to replace old helmets, keeping the Department's protective equipment up to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. According to Captain Steffel, the Department expects to replace between 32 and 35 helmets with funds from the grant. Though the Department's helmets were compliant with NFPA standards, many were up to 10 years old and in need of replacement.
"I have witnessed an overall downward trend in firefighter deaths over the past several years, and I believe that the trend can be directly attributed to grants like these, which enable local fire departments to obtain equipment that often protects firefighters' lives," said Gregory Cade, former United States Fire Administrator and Director of Government Affairs for NFPA.
"We would like to thank Congressman Visclosky and his office for helping to secure this much needed grant for new helmets to protect our men and women of the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department. We congratulate the Department on receiving this, as revenue is tighter and tighter but protecting the people that protect us is an absolute necessity," Hebron Town Council President Don Ensign said.
"When our first responders place their lives on the line, we need to be absolutely certain that they have the finest equipment, training, and support available. Our region's communities have shown a clear commitment to protecting our firefighters, and I am grateful for their consistent support. I thank the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Hebron for their work to secure this grant," Congressman Visclosky said.