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Posted on Thu, Feb 3, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Dexter Area Fire Department gets $57,000 federal grant for training, equipment

By Lisa Allmendinger

The Dexter Area Fire Department recently received about $57,000 in federal grant money to pay for training and equipment.

Firefighter Doug Armstrong, who wrote the grant application, said about $35,800 will be used for new equipment, such as replacement ice rescue gear and high visibility signs and lights, while $24,200 will be used for five firefighter safety classes.

Although the Fire Department has not received official notification that it was one of 20 fire departments in the state to receive more than $1.6 million in federal funds, a press release from U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both D-Michigan, announced the grant award.

The grants are from a Department of Homeland Security program.

Armstrong said the department will hold classes in firefighter safety and survival training, ice rescue techniques, and rapid intervention training.

In addition, twofirefighters will be trained to become emergency medical instructors so they can train other firefighters.

On the equipment side, the department will purchase a $10,000 LED sign, which can be programmed to warn motorists of a closed roadway, accident or lane closure. The money will also buy collapsible cones and and other signs, four new water rescue suits, new life vests and six headlamps to free firefighters’ hands for work at night.

The department has received several grants in recent years. “We’ve been lucky enough to get a grant almost every year for about the last eight years,” said Dexter Fire Chief Loren Yates.

Lisa Allmendinger is a reporter with She can be reached at For more Dexter stories, visit our Dexter page