ROSELLE – The Roselle Fire Department has received nearly $90,000 in federal assistance funds to purchase new equipment as well as to enhance the department’s ongoing fire prevention and safety programs, Roselle Mayor Jamel C. Holley and Roselle Fire Department Chief Paul Mucha announced Tuesday.
The funds—the result of two grants issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant—will be used to purchase new personnel protection equipment and to purchase and install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in one- and two-family homes, reducing the risk of fire casualties and injuries, Holley said.
“My administration, working closely with Chief Mucha and the Roselle Fire Department, has made fire safety and prevention a top priority,” Holley said. “I’m proud of our ability to access dollars outside of the municipal tax levy to fund essential programs that keep Roselle residents safe.”
The first, $26,828 grant will be used to launch a borough-wide smoke and carbon monoxide detector installation program that adheres to the National Fire Protection Agency’s guideline that detectors should be replaced every 10 years to ensure maximum efficiency.
“Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States,” Mucha said. “The borough and the Roselle Fire Department are working to make sure these types of accidents never happen. FEMA’s assistance will only bolster that effort.”
New detectors, equipped with 10-year sealed lithium batteries, will be purchased within the month, Mucha said, followed by ongoing community outreach and efforts specifically targeted to households with children under the age of 14, seniors over the age of 65 and residents with disabilities.
The smoke detectors will be required to be installed for all home sales, Mucha said. The Roselle Fire Department will maintain the program and will conduct an evaluation at the end of its first year.
The Borough and the Fire Department will coordinate with the Roselle Public Schools and other local agencies in soliciting new smoke/carbon monoxide detector requests. Smoke detector services will be offered on Comcast’s Channel 34, Verizon FiOS Channel 37 as well as in the local newspapers and on the municipal website, www.boroughofroselle.com.
The second, $63,024 grant will be used to replace 26 sets of aged and damaged firefighter gear that, in some cases, was less resistant to fire hazards and contamination because of its repeated use, repair and cleaning, Mucha said.
“It is essential that when our firefighters’ lives are on the line, they have the most up-to-date equipment to keep our community safe,” Mucha said. He added that the new equipment will increase interoperability with other first responder units, as well as any mutual aid calls that may involve hazardous materials or even weapons of mass destruction.
“Roselle families understand that safety is not optional,” Holley said. “These FEMA funds represent a critical step in ensuring that preventable accidents never happen in our community.”
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