Fire departments across the state do an excellent job at keeping their vehicles clean, shining and looking like they were just delivered from the assembly line.
The reality is, however, that despite this regular upkeep, many fire trucks are aging, and with that age comes increased maintenance, expenses and time out of service.
For small communities like the Borough of Penns Grove in Salem County – which has just one fire station and a limited number of vehicles to serve the entire community – having an aging fleet represents a significant threat to public safety.
In 2018, the Borough’s Aerial Ladder reached the milestone of 29 years of service – nearly 10 years more than the normal life expectancy of these kinds of vehicles – and the time had come to identify a way to replace it so that firefighters could continue to safely protect people and property.
For many communities and fire departments, FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is an option to secure funding for vehicle acquisition, but being a national program, competition is tough (by the way, Triad has an excellent track record of securing AFG awards for our clients in need of vehicles, Personal Protective Equipment and more, so keep us in mind when the AFG Program opens again later this year).
Instead, Penns Grove turned to Triad Associates to prepare a highly-competitive application to the NJ Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) HUD-funded Small Cities Program which, in part, provides grants to obtain fire equipment.
That application was recently approved and the Borough was awarded $400,000 towards the purchase of a new Aerial Ladder to serve the community. According to the DCA, only 23 applications – including Penns Grove’s — were approved statewide for Fiscal Year 2019. Of these 23, seven were written by Triad Associates.