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Fire departments win $250,000 grant for air tanks, gear

The Sound Beach Fire Department at 152 Sound

The Sound Beach Fire Department at 152 Sound Beach Blvd. in Sound Beach, became incorporated in 1931. (Sept. 7, 2012) Credit: Brittany Wait

The Port Jefferson and Sound Beach fire departments have won a federal grant to purchase air tanks, protective clothing and other gear.

The departments will receive a total of $249,803 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program. The departments had filed a joint application to FEMA for funds to buy new equipment.

The grant will help Port Jefferson and Sound Beach buy 23 self-contained breathing apparatus, also known as air tanks or SCBAs, and 50 sets of personal protective equipment, including helmets, coats, pants, gloves, hoods and boots.

Port Jefferson fire Commissioner Herb Reckenbeil said Port Jefferson and Sound Beach officials plan to meet on Sept. 10 to discuss details of the equipment purchase, including how the material will be split between the departments.

Purchasing the gear will bring the departments into compliance with National Fire Prevention Association guidelines that went into effect last year, according to a news release from JSK Inc., a Williston Park consulting firm that helped the departments apply for the grant.

Air tanks cost about $6,400 each and include two air bottles and a face mask. A set of protective gear costs about $3,000, the JSK release said.

The departments also will receive $3,000 each to cover costs related to training for using the gear and for physical exams for new members.

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