A newly awarded grant from the Department of Homeland Security will help the Turlock Fire Department train and prepare for emergencies that might arise in the expanding retail and industrial developments in the city.
The fire department was awarded $21,637 from the Assistance to Firefighters grant, which will be used to fund a two week Rescue and Truck Company Academy here in Turlock.
An aspect that helped the Turlock Fire Department secure the grant was the growing developments at Monte Vista Crossing and the Turlock Regional Industrial Park, previously known as WISP. The new developments, especially the larger commercial structures have increased the risk for larger emergency incidents that will require special skills to mitigate.
“This training grant will prepare Turlock’s firefighting force for exactly that type of emergency therefore, increasing the ability to continue providing the citizens of Turlock the level of service they have become accustomed to,” said the fire department in a news release.
The 80-hour academy will cover a variety of emergency response topics including commercial building ventilation, residential ventilation, forced entry, search and rescue, extrication, rope rescue, aerial operations, and firefighter survival. The funds will also pay for hands-on presentations from truck and rescue operations experts. The fire department said the experts will construct custom props on Turlock Fire Department’s drill grounds and provide instruction on the mitigation of special emergency operations. The props will be retained for on-going and future training.
“Firefighting is labor intensive,” said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni. “This training will place firefighters into real life scenarios which focus on specific tasks.”
The grant application was prepared by Operations Chief Gary Carlson. The grant application was submitted on Dec. 28, 2015 and recipients were notified on July 8.
Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2001 the Turlock Fire Department has been awarded several grants aimed at ensuring the community gets the best coverage and protection possible. Past grants have been used to purchase necessary equipment including a new fire engine, extrication equipment, and fitness equipment. The grants have also provided funding for the hiring of three firefighters. The total amount of grant money received through this program has exceeded $1 million, according to the fire department.