Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Local Agencies Awarded Grant Money

November 22, 2010

Local Agencies Awarded Grant for Emergency Generators

ST. HELENS–A local city and fire district have been awarded federal grant dollars to help purchase emergency power generators.

Columbia County Emergency Management recently received word that Scappoose Rural Fire District and Columbia City were awarded over $74,000 combined for generators that will help them operate during disasters or long-term power outages. The funding comes from the federal State Homeland Security Grant Program, which provides local agencies with the opportunity to address gaps in emergency equipment, planning or training needs.

Derek White, Director of Columbia County Emergency Management, said that the grant addresses a major need. “Generators are always in demand whenever we lose power and need electricity for a shelter or for emergency operations to continue. This grant will allow our agencies to continue to do what they need to do no matter what comes our way.”

White added that his agency, which is responsible for coordinating disaster preparedness and response around Columbia County, worked with both agencies to write and apply for the grant after agencies from around the county met to prioritize grant requests.

“There was a limited amount of money available. Local public safety agencies met in May and made the Scappoose Fire/Columbia City project a priority for funding,” White said.

Leahnette Rivers, city administrator for Columbia City, stated that the funds will be used to purchase a mobile generator that could be used at any city facility or by other agencies if it is not needed locally.

"This mobile generator will play a key role in Columbia City's ability to continue critical operations in the event of a disaster. As an added benefit, the generator will be available for mutual aid use throughout the region when we're not using it. Emergency Management's assistance in securing State Homeland Security Grant funding for this valuable tool is greatly appreciated."

Scappoose Fire will use its share of the funds to replace an outdated generator on loan from the federal government at its main station in Scappoose, which also serves as an emergency operations center for the Scappoose region.

“This new generator will operate the entire fire station and will automatically turn on after the loss of electrical power within 10 – 30 seconds,” Scappoose Fire Chief Michael Greisen noted.
“It will allow us to continue to operate our joint command center with the City of Scappoose and the Scappoose School District during our natural disasters.”