FEMA grant brings new truck to Onset Fire Department

Jun 15, 2018

Members of the Onset Fire Department celebrated the arrival of a 2018 KME tanker truck on Thursday. The truck was obtained through a FEMA grant that Captain Jeff Dias and Captain Howard Anderson spent well over six months working on.

“People never see the hours of work we put into accomplishing something like this,” Onset Fire Chief Ray Goodwin said. “We’re extremely proud of Captains Dias and Anderson for their commitment to this town.”

The grant, which comes through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, gave $285,000 to the department for the purchase of the new vehicle. The department was only required to match 5 percent of those funds in return.

According to FEMA Fire Program Specialist David Parr, the grant process is extremely competitive with more than 10,000 applicants per year and only 2,000 grants awarded.

“Grants like these really make a difference in small communities” Parr said. “And as a former firefighter, I know how important this is for Onset.”

The new tanker replaces a 1983 military surplus tank truck which was obtained through the through the Federal Excess Property Program at no cost in 2001.

“The surplus vehicle served us well,” Goodwin said. “But it was never designed to be a fire truck.”

According to Goodwin, the new vehicle is much safer for the department. It meets all required standards set by the National Fire Protection Association and will help improve the insurance score of the department at no cost to voters.

Complete with all the bells and whistles, the new truck also features all wheel drive, a 1,800 gallon water tank and a fire fighting foam system.

“Because this truck carries water on board, we’ll always be ready,” Goodwin said. “Even in the event of a water main break, we can still do our job.”

The Onset Fire Department has received $552,638 in federal grants since 2011.