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Ohio fire department receives $1M in AFG money for new ladder truck

Ashtabula received the third-largest grant nationwide and the maximum award for a municipality of its size


Photo/City of Ashtabula, Ohio

By Shelley Terry
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA, Ohio — The Ashtabula City Fire Department is getting new wheels.

The department has been awarded a $1 million FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to replace its 33-year-old ladder truck.

Will Anderson, of In Command Consulting, a business consulting firm in Ashtabula, assisted with the grant application in 2021.

“The AFG application process is very competitive, and we are extremely fortunate to receive this funding,” Fire Chief Shawn Gruber said.

The Ashtabula City Fire Department was one of 202 fire departments out of 1,757 applications to receive grant funding nationwide, Gruber said.

“Since starting the consulting business in 2018, I’ve gotten $2.2 million for fire departments in Ashtabula County, including Orwell, Kingsville Township, Saybrook Township, Sheffield Township, and now, the city of Ashtabula,” Anderson said.

The City of Ashtabula received the largest vehicle grant in Ohio and the third largest nationwide, right behind Memphis, Tennessee and Tacoma, Washington. Ashtabula received the maximum award for municipalities of its size.

“This grant award is amazing news for the city,” City Manager Jim Timonere said. “Our staff and vendors have done an amazing job keeping our current ladder truck in service; however, parts are becoming harder to find and northeast Ohio winters take a toll on a truck this age. Vehicles like this must be reliable and in service when you are dealing with life and death situations.”

Timonere commended Anderson, Gruber and his staff for submitting an exceptional application and advocating for this grant.

“Without them, a purchase like this would not be possible,” he said.

The city now will review the grant agreements and begin to solicit quotes for the new ladder truck, Timonere said.

City officials expect it to take about two years from the date of order to delivery.

“Opportunities to replace equipment of this magnitude do not happen often,” Gruber said. “We want to be sure we build a new ladder truck that will meet our needs, be dependable and be in our station for many years to come.”


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