September 24, 2004
Wyden, Smith, DeFazio Announce Federal Grant of $348,703 for Eugene Fire & EMS DepartmentWashington, DC U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) today announced that the Eugene Fire & EMS Department will receive $348,703 from the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) for Operations and Firefighter Safety.Eugenes first responders put their lives on the line every day to keep their community safe and these federal funds will help make them safer as well, said Wyden. I am pleased to see Eugene benefit from this grant.To be fully effective, first responders need their equipment and supplies to be in top shape, Smith said. This requires constant upkeep, and their needs often exceed what local communities can afford.These funds will help ensure that our fire fighters are well equipped and in good health, ready to respond at a moment's notice to protect our lives and property, said DeFazio. I'm proud to help those who so bravely protect us.The grant will help fund exhaust extraction systems, which will help protect first responders from toxic vapors and particulates. These systems will also reduce maintenance costs, provide energy savings, and increase the useful life span of firefighting equipment and station structures.This is great news, said Glen Potter of the Eugene Fire & EMS Department. We deeply appreciate the support of Senators Wyden and Smith and Congressman DeFazio. With this funding we will be able to purchase exhaust upgrades at eight Eugene fire stations. The improvements to the exhaust system will address the community's health concerns by filtering the diesel exhaust fumes which pose a hazard to firefighters and their equipment.