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BFD gets new haz-mat trailer

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
The Brewton area continues to benefit from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds made available to bolster homeland security preparations in small communities across the country.
This week the Brewton Fire Department was able to purchase a Haz-Mat (hazardous matrerials) Trailer, which can be used to transport emergency equipment -- such as protective suits and detection gear -- to the scenes of, for instance, chemical spills.
Escambia County Emergency Management Coordinator David Jennings said that while there are full Haz-Mat trucks available, the department decided a trailer better suited its needs.
Jennings said that departments in the county are using the FEMA monies to become better prepared for any emergencies that may arise.
This is the second time the FEMA monies -- which come to the county and are then distributed to local departments -- have been put to good use recently. Last week, the East Brewton Fire Department used some of the funds to purchase a hazardous gas detector, several gas masks and a re-breather unit.
This year Escambia County will get $75,000 in FEMA funding -- a big improvement over recent years. In 2000, 2001 and 2002 combined, for instance, the county only got $43,000.
Jennings thanked the County Commission for its support of emergency management efforts within the county, and of this funding effort specifically.
Jennings said he expects departments within the county to continue to benefit from this program in the years to come.