Fire department receives grant for training

Grant will fund mobile radios, fire officer certification courses, including required reading material, salary costs for officers



Pullman’s Fire Department received $181,197 from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant. It will be used to fund officer training and mobile radios.

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

Pullman’s Fire Department received $181,197 from a FEMA grant, which will fund officer training and upgraded radio systems for firetrucks.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant covers most of the cost, but the city will have to pay about $16,000 for the rest, Deputy Fire Chief Ray Lamoureux said.

The addition of mobile radios in firetrucks will allow for quick communication, Lamoureux said. Officers sometimes have trouble connecting to radio signals even within the city, like if they are working in the basement of a building, he said.

Upgrading the radios will help officers respond more quickly to other fire districts while on-scene, he said.

“Because our radios are so antiquated, it’s a very arduous process to program the radios,” Lamoureux said. “Being able to take advantage of those boosters is going to increase communication.”

The grant money will fund fire officer certification courses, as well as required reading material and salary costs for officers. Lamoureux said he will teach these certification classes. He said he wanted to prioritize training fire officers, as the fire department has received deficiency points on its officer training from Washington state fire agencies.

“This is a lot of work, the process is gonna require them to put some time in to study and prepare, but I think most everybody sees the value in it,” Lamoureux said.

Training will not begin until January because of the pandemic. Postponing for the next few months will likely ensure they can host in-person classes, he said.