Kirkville Fire Company awarded $113,000 FEMA grant

Kirkville volunteer firefighters drive a fire engine in Fayetteville's Memorial Day parade.

Kirkville volunteer firefighters drive a fire engine in Fayetteville's Memorial Day parade. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— The Kirkville Fire Company will be able to purchase some much-needed equipment thanks to the efforts of three volunteer firefighters.

Ed Visser, George Steinberger and Kenneth Adams have put “untold hours” over the last five years into securing a FEMA grant to allow the department to upgrade its supply of self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs), Fire Commissioner Duane Groesbeck said.

“The community owes them a vote of thanks for giving up a lot of their time and effort into finally getting this thing pushed through,” he said.

Kirkville’s SCBAs were 10 years old when the department purchased them from Fayetteville 15 years ago, Groesbeck said.

“We couldn’t get part for them anymore,” he said. “Within a year or two, we weren’t gonna have any [parts] left.”

FEMA requires fire departments to have a certain number of apparatuses per truck.

“We were getting to a point where we couldn’t meet that criteria,” Groesbeck said.

Kirkville will meet the requirements when it purchases 20 SCBAs with the $113,000 grant awarded by FEMA. The grant will just about cover the purchase, Groesbeck said, “although we have to purchase a compressor to fill them with because the compressor we have for the old one isn’t heavy enough to fill this larger, more pressurized bottle.”

The fire commissioner said Kirkville, a small department, has difficulty keeping up with mandates now being placed on departments of all sizes.

“We have to keep the same things that Fayetteville and Manlius does with a much, much smaller budget,” he said.

All the more reason taxpayers can be thankful for the efforts of the volunteers who put in the time needed to secure the grant, he said.

The Kirkville Fire Company, located at 6225 Kirkville Road, has two fire engines, an emergency truck and an emergency van. It runs on 22 volunteers; it has no paid staff.

Ned Campbell can be reached at editor@eaglebulletin.com.

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