WINDHAM - A $37,145 federal grant to the Windham Fire Department comes at an opportune time.
The money will pay most of the bill for 23 sets of firefighter apparel, called turnouts. The gear just arrived and replaces turnouts as old as 7 or 8 years, according to fire Chief Tom McPherson.
The department applied for the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters grant program in May. But McPherson said he hadn't heard, as the year progressed, whether the application was successful. The gear, which cost about $40,000, became a budget item, he said.
"Now it allows us to spend a lot less ... and we can return money to the town," McPherson said. "Everything just fell into place."
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., announced the award yesterday. The grant was for operations and safety.
"New Hampshire firefighters put their lives on the line every day to improve safety and save lives," Shaheen said. "We need to make sure these brave men and women have the resources they need to stay safe on the job so that they can continue to protect and serve our communities."