From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
CENTER POINT — The Federal Emergency Managemeny Administration (FEMA) has awarded the Center Point Fire District an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) in the amount of $364,003 for firefighter education.
The primary goal of the AFG is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations, and State Fire Training Academies. This funding is for critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience.
The Center Point Fire District (CPFD) was awarded by FEMA on August 17th and will be shared by Center Point Fire, Trussville Fire, Springville Fire, and Fultondale Fire departments to purchase and implement a video conferencing system, which allows for delivery of distance training and education.
Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) who also shared the grant’s awarding to the departments said, “The men and women in our fire departments put their lives on the line to ensure our families’ and loved ones’ safety. This grant will allow these fire departments to strengthen their ability to safely respond to fires and other related hazards. I am proud to support all of our first responders and the work they do.”
In a CPFD statement released on Tuesday, August 21, the department highlighted the importance training has on fire department operations.
“The Center Point Fire District conducts regular fire suppression and EMS training to make sure that our personnel are always ready to meet the needs of our community. Training is a large component of the ISO ranking system.“
The Center Point Fire District currently holds an Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rating of 1/1X, the highest ranking available.
“We also conduct Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations as one of the core functions of our organization. EMS calls account for the majority of our emergency responses. Our personnel are licensed EMS providers. To maintain those licenses, each member must complete rigorous continuing education on a 2-year cycle.”
With the video conferencing system, Center Point Fire District, Fultondale Fire Department, Springville Fire Department and the Trussville Fire Department will be able to collaborate, in real-time, on fire and EMS training without taking personnel and units out of their coverage areas.
Not only will this system allow for distance collaboration between organizations, but it will also facilitate meetings within each organization without moving personnel. This system is also compatible with the current technology being utilized by the Alabama Fire College which will facilitate the completion of AFC certification courses.
Although installation and implementation for this system will take some time, CPFD anticipates the system being operational by December 1.
Center Point Fire Chief Chief Donnie West, with the assistance of Fultondale Fire Chief Justin McKenzie, Fultondale Public Safety Director David Smith, Springville Fire Chief Richard Harvey, and Trussville Fire Chief Tim Shotts undertook this project.
”This is a huge benefit to our departments as we all strive to continuously improve the services that we provide to the citizens of Alabama,” said the release.