FEMA grants $5.7M to Puerto Rico Fire Department
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has assigned nearly $5.7 million to the Puerto Rico Fire Department as part of the recovery efforts on the island after Hurricane María, the federal agency announced.
The funds include projects to replace fire trucks as well as for the repair of facilities that provide response services related to all types of emergencies.
The Fire Department has approximately 1,535 staff across 95 stations distributed in six fire zones. In addition to preventing, fighting and determining the causes of fires to protect life and property, the team handles emergency calls in disasters and provides guidance to the public through seminars and conferences.
“Our brave Fire Department men and women are part of our first line of defense in disasters. With these funds we are supporting our mission to help strengthen critical services on the island for the safety of all citizens,” said the Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, José Baquero-Tirado.
The awards include $542,000 for the Barceloneta station, which was recently inaugurated as repairs were completed. Of these funds, just over $17,000 went to measures to prevent similar damage in the future like an anti-filtration treatment and strengthening the electrical system against power surges.
“The renovation took approximately eight months, where the roof and other areas of the station were completely replaced. As a result, we are now able to serve the citizens of Barceloneta,” said Captain Manuel Medina-Moya, head of the Barceloneta District of the Puerto Rico Fire Department.
Meanwhile, another $9,000 was obligated to the Training Academy located at the Jueyes neighborhood in Salinas. The educational center, comprised of 160 students, will receive funds to repair classrooms, hazardous material simulators and training areas, among other repairs.
Here, both civilian and emergency response and brigade personnel receive the necessary training on the latest fire prevention and extinction techniques.