The Mahoning County Fire Chiefs Association has announced the receipt of a federal AFG grant in the amount of $1,676,436.36 on Monday, Sept. 13. This is the largest AFG grant ever awarded in Mahoning County.

The Western Reserve Joint Fire District in Poland serves as the grant administrator.

The grant will be shared and will directly benefit the communities of Austintown, Berlin, Boardman, Campbell, Canfield, Coitsville, Craig Beach, Ellsworth, Green, Jackson, Lowellville, New Middletown, Springfield, Poland and Struthers. 

The grant will permit fire departments to purchase 419 portable radios, 92 mobile radios for vehicles and 31 base radios for fire stations. The grant also includes the cost of installation fees.

This grant will ensure the safety of firefighters in the Mahoning Valley by promoting communication interoperability and is compliant with the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan. 

The Fire Chiefs extended their gratitude to Congressmen Bill Johnson and Tim Ryan along with Senator Sherrod Brown for their support of this grant. Tim Ryan says he's proud to support firefighters in the Mahoning Valley and will continue to advocate for increased funding for local fire departments.

"I am proud to support our firefighters and help provide the resources to ensure that they are safe and well-equipped as they work hard to protect the lives of our family and friends," Ryan said.

The Chiefs say that their next step will be seeking funding for the local match from the Mahoning County Commissioners. Fire Chiefs Association President, Mark Pitzer says the chiefs believe that Mahoning County can utilize ARP/CARES Act funding for this project, which will improve the delivery of emergency and rescue services throughout the county.