Otho Fire Department gets federal grant

OTHO – All of Otho’s volunteer firefighters will receive new protective clothing purchased with the help of a federal grant that a congressional aide said will not be lost to budget cuts.

The $36,632 grant award was announced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

That money is from the 2012 federal budget and is exempt from the spending cuts called sequestration, according to Chance McElhaney, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley.

”If they’ve received the award there’s no worry with the sequester,” he said Tuesday.

The Fire Department will provide a $1,928 match for the federal grant, according to Fire Chief Marty Smith. He said the total purchase price will be $38,560.

”This is just one of the many ongoing costs of maintaining a viable emergency response for both fire and rescue protection of the public in our district and throughout Webster County,” he said.

Smith said all 16 firefighters will get new protective coats, pants, boots, helmets, gloves and flame-resistant hoods.

”Most of our stuff is 10 years old or older and that is the recommended NFPA limit for gear,” he said, referring to the National Fire Protection Association.