Orange Fire Department gets state hazmat grants

  • The Orange Fire Department has been awarded $15,190 in Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/15/2021 3:39:17 PM

ORANGE — Fire Chief James Young recently announced his department has been awarded $15,190 in Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

One $12,490 reimbursement-based grant, with no matching obligation from the town, will allow the department to get new multi-gas detection meters with a testing/calibration station for those meters, as well as about a year’s supply of alkaline batteries for various types of equipment, primarily in firefighters’ breathing apparatuses.

The other grant, for $2,700, is also reimbursement-based, with a dollar-for-dollar match requirement. Young said the department’s subscription to Code Red, the notification system officials can use to alert residents by phone, text or email to emergencies, counts as the department’s match.

The department will use the money to replace four lithium-ion batteries that recently failed, and to buy a new desktop computer for the department’s Emergency Operations Center to serve as a work station and control ventilation systems in the Tully station. Young explained the lithium-ion batteries power several rescue tools.

The department will also get two heavy-duty salvage tarps to protect personal belongings or equipment from water damage during emergencies.

Young said these are annual recurring grants.

“It’s something that we’ve always done,” he said, adding that he learned Dec. 29 that his department was being awarded the grants.

Young explained the $12,490 grant replaces two older multi-gas detection units and acquires another two. The devices detect carbon monoxide, oxygen, hydrogen sulfide (a wastewater gas), hydrogen cyanide (a byproduct of combustion), and various flammable, combustible gases.

The previous detection meters, Young said, could detect four gases but not hydrogen sulfide, meaning firefighters had to equip themselves with a separate unit for that gas.

The chief said the testing/calibration station is necessary because the meters must be calibrated once a month or after each use and, now, the department will no longer have to send them to a third party for calibration.

“It’s all things that we need,” Young said about the equipment purchases, adding that these grants help “ease the burden on the taxpayers.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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