City Council approves Fire Department’s grant application

City Council
Kim Goldener asks for approval of Fire Department grant application

PICKENS, Ga. — Jasper’s city council met for the first time in the new year on Jan. 3. Among the items on their agenda were several appointment approvals and an approval of a grant application to benefit the Jasper Fire Department

Kim Goldener spoke on behalf of the Jasper Fire Department, requesting the council’s approval to submit an application to receive grant funding from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Program. She explained, “This is a nationwide preparedness program, and what it does is it’s designed to fund critically needed, life-saving equipment, particularly in our case, when it is replacing obsolete, out-of-date, non-compliant equipment.” 

Goldener further explained that Fire Chief Steve Roper and Assistant Fire Chief Von Headrick have identified several areas of need, totaling over $250,000 worth of new equipment. This equipment, she said, will “fall under FEMA’s high-priority status for funding.” The department’s application will include requests for 23 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units. The new equipment would replace the department’s current SCBA units from 2007 and 1992, Goldener told the council, which are “more than two cycles … out of compliance.”

Continuing, she noted the application would also request new fill stations and a cascade system to reduce the time spent filling oxygen cylinders. Finally, Goldener said the department would request new vehicle extraction tools. She explained the need to replace the current sets, saying: “They are more than 15 years old. They are not designed to work with new vehicle technology, with new materials that are in newer vehicles, and so it adds to the amount of time that, frankly, we don’t have when we’re trying to get somebody out of a vehicle.” 

The total cost of the requested equipment would be $271,923.68. With FEMA’s grant assistance, however, the cost to the city would total $12,948.75. “This is … another example of our investment into public safety under this administration, we’ve had leaps and bounds,” council member Kirk Raffield said before the council passed the approval unanimously. 

Other Business:

The council approved several appointments during the meeting. Member Kirk Raffield was among those. Raffield was nominated to serve as the city’s Mayor Pro Tempore and was elected unanimously by the council for a two year term. Newly elected council members Anne Sneeve and Sonny Proctor were also sworn in at the meeting. The council also R. David Syfan as city attorney for another year. On the Municipal Court, Judge Robert Sneed, Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Hudson, and Public Defender Cortney Stuart all received approval for service for the year of 2022. 

The city council also established Suite C, 55 GG Lovell St., Jasper, Ga. as a permanent polling place for the city’s municipal elections. 

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