'This funding ensures they have the tools and equipment to be safe while carrying out their duties'
Nova Scotia is investing $1.25 million through the Emergency Services Provider Fund to help first responder organizations buy emergency equipment.
“These grants are important for first responder organizations,” said Chuck Porter, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “Many of these organizations are supported by volunteers, who put hours of their own time into training and responding to emergencies in their communities. This funding ensures they have the tools and equipment to be safe while carrying out their duties.”
The fund offers financial assistance to fire departments and ground search and rescue organizations, including hazardous materials (HAZMAT) organizations, to upgrade equipment that is used directly in response to a fire or emergency. These equipment include personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus, communications, rescue equipment, miscellaneous firefighting equipment, hazardous material (HAZMAT) equipment, water supply and fire suppression equipment and emergency power for buildings.
The program provides up to 75 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000. Overall, 74 organizations are receiving funding for the 2020-2021 program year, including Italy Cross, Middlewood and District Fire Department, which was awarded $20,000 to buy personal protective equipment such as helmets, boots and gloves, as well as hoses and nozzles for water suppression.
“On behalf of the Italy Cross, Middlewood and District Fire Department I would like to convey my appreciation for being awarded funding from the Emergency Services Provider Fund. This funding will allow our department to purchase much needed safety equipment that we require to protect our firefighters while we serve our community,” said Nancy Llewellyn-Rafuse, chief, Italy Cross, Middlewood and District Fire Department.
“We owe it to all our first responder members to provide them with the best training and equipment to do their jobs effectively and safely. The Emergency Services Provider Fund supports their work,” said Mark Furey, minister of justice.
In April, Nova Scotia required front-line workers in every public and private long-term care home, residential care facility and home-care agency across the province to wear masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The province earlier announced it will contribute $13.4 million on top of the federal government’s $80.5 million contribution to the Essential Health Care Workers Program, giving workers a bonus of up to $2,000 for a month, retroactive to March 13.