The Indiana Department of Homeland Security received nearly $1.3 million in federal grant awards recently to enhance training and resources for Indiana first responders and kickstart a statewide campaign to install 10,000 smoke detectors in Hoosier homes.
The funding will impact three specific areas across Indiana: 1) equipment and training for firefighters and emergency responders 2) fire prevention and safety in homes and 3) additional equipment and training related to hazardous chemicals. The total for the three awards is $1.29 million.
The grants, which were awarded following a lengthy application process, supplement the nearly $800,000 in federal funding IDHS returned to Indiana counties this year to support local emergency management projects and planning.
The Fire Prevention and Safety Grant ($521,130 for two years) primarily is geared toward reducing injury and preventing fire deaths in high-risk populations. In Indiana, more than 85 fatal fires have occurred so far in 2018, an increase from the previous year (72).
The Indiana State Fire Marshal will focus the grant funds on community risk reduction through a statewide smoke detector education and distribution campaign. The goal will be to install more than 10,000 smoke detectors and 1,000 shaking bed/strobe alarms for deaf and hard of hearing across the next two years. In addition, the “Get Alarmed Indiana” campaign is intended to enhance public safety education related to fire hazards for Hoosiers.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant ($372,856) will address the needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations in Indiana. This could include equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles and others resources for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related deaths.
The Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant ($401,236) will provide hazardous materials training and equipment to assist the more than 820 fire departments across Indiana, 90 percent of which are staffed by volunteers. IDHS will use the funds to purchase equipment and training resources that will be made available to communities across the state.