WINDSOR — The town Fire and Rescue Department is receiving nearly $90,000 through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program’s Operations and Firefighting Safety Program.

The program pays for training, equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to the department’s buildings.

“That’s really something,” said Windsor Fire Chief Arthur Strout. “It saves us a lot of money and is stuff we really needed.”

The money will fund turnout gear, four air packs and a compressor to fill the department’s cascade air system, which puts breathable air into bottles.

The department’s cascade system is set up in a utility vehicle.

“We take it to Togus to get it refilled, so the truck is out of service in the time frame that it’s gone,” Strout said. “Now we’ll fill it at the station and won’t have that time lapse.”

The department handles 75 to 100 calls a year, including responses to motor vehicle crashes.

Strout said two department members did the paperwork for the grant applications: Dennis Strout, the chief’s son; and Kevin Ready. The two attended a workshop on the grant process last spring, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District.

Announcements of the grant award came last week from Michaud and U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, Republican, and Angus King, independent.

“Maine’s fire and rescue departments are so critical to the safety of our communities,” Michaud said in a prepared statement. “These FEMA programs help our first responders access more personnel, newer equipment, and better training.”

In a statement issued together, Collins and King said, “We have seen firsthand the dramatic difference these grants make, especially in small, rural communities that need additional assistance to fully resource their emergency services.”

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