CRAB ORCHARD - Crab Orchard Fire Department was awarded $99,700 this week from the federal Assistance to Firefighters grant program. The application was submitted by Fire Chief Larry Owsley, who said the money is much needed.
"I was really pleased that we got it," said Owsley. "They've had it for three years now, and we've tried each year to get it. We feel pretty lucky."
Owsley said the money will pay for new safety and operations equipment.
"One thing the money will be used for will be new air packs, which will have an one-hour rating on them. Our packs right now last about half an hour. We'll also get extra air tanks and an air-refilling station so we can fill our own tanks," said Owsley. "Also, we're going to get a thermal imaging camera and new turnout gear."
Owsley said the thermal imaging camera will help firefighters find people in smoke-filled rooms.