California Water Service (Cal Water) opened its annual Firefighter Grant Program last week. Professional and volunteer fire departments that serve any part of Cal Water’s service areas are encouraged to apply for funding to offset costs related to fire protection efforts, equipment, training, and education.
Since the program launched in 2019, it has provided more than $668,000 in grants to local fire departments. Cal Water awarded grants ranging from $16,000 to $38,000 last year for equipment such as new hoses, ventilation fans for use in fighting structure fires, portable fire pumps, drone equipment nozzles, and self-contained breathing apparatuses.
“Fire departments in many of the communities we serve lack extra budget dollars to purchase updated firefighting and protective equipment,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Cal Water President and CEO. “We’re proud to support these heroes and help provide the tools and gear they need to help save lives and keep themselves and our communities safe.”
According to past recipients, the grants have helped first responders save lives and property. Thanks to a 2021 grant from Cal Water, the Los Angeles County Fire Department was able to purchase an automatic-filling, high-capacity, helicopter dip tank—which allows aerial firefighters to fill helicopter water tanks faster and drop more water per hour.
“Thank you, Cal Water, for supporting us in being able to aggressively fight wildfires, quickly and efficiently,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jon O’Brien. “When lives and homes are threatened, every second counts, and we are so grateful for the generous grant from Cal Water.”
For more information about the Firefighter Grant Program or to submit an application, applicants can visit www.calwater.com/firefightergrant or email [email protected]. The application period for this year’s cycle will close at 5 p.m. PT on Friday, Sept. 8. Cal Water will notify grant recipients in fall.