On Wednesday during his address to the Pine City City Council, Fire Chief Tom Miller announced that he had just received a call from the office of Senator Tina Smith. The call was to let Chief Miller know that the Pine City Fire Department has secured the Assistance to Firefighters Grant through FEMA.
The $200,000 grant will be used replace the fire department's self-contained breathing apparatuses or SCBAs. The SCBAs that the fire department currently uses are 15-years-old, and the wear and tear are starting to take its toll.
"They have been very good air packs; however, the last few years, there has been a breakdown with the wires in the electronics integrated into them," said Miller.
This has caused issues with the SCBAs, and Miller explained they have at least three of them out for repair at any given time.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant will free up a large portion of their budget that the department was going to be dedicated for replacing the firefighters important piece of equipment.
Miller said, "This will have a huge impact on our communities to alleviate $200,000 dollars from our capital plan."
Pine City will have to match 5 percent of the $200,000 grant, but the amount the city will have to pay is a drop in the bucket compared to what they would have to pay if they did not have the grant.