Federal Safety Grant Awarded to Apopka Fire Department

A quarter-million-dollar federal grant awarded to the Apopka Fire Department will help to upgrade city ambulances with the latest life-saving equipment.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing Apopka with $254,546 as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The funding will replace aging heart monitors/defibrillators currently used in ambulances and fire trucks. Apopka will match funding with $25,454.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Apopka City Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith. “Anything we can do for public safety is a big plus for everyone.”

The grant saves Apopka a quarter-million dollars in an upcoming budget year in which city leaders are looking to improve public services while controlling costs to local tax payers.

Replacing the medical equipment is unavoidable. Each new machine can cost about $35,000.


The city currently has 12 monitors/defibrillators originally purchased in 1999-2000 budget year. The equipment must be replaced by late next year because parts no longer will be available for repairs. The annual cost of servicing the equipment is $18,000.

The federal grant announced on Friday is expected to allow Apopka to purchase 8 new monitors/defibrillators. The remaining could be funded next year. The equipment is used to monitor patients’ heartbeats and to deliver electrical pulses to correct life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia.

The Apopka Fire Department includes 75 firefighters and 8 administration staff working among four fire stations. In 2014, the department responded to more than 5,300 emergency calls within the 34-square-mile city.

Last week the fire department also was awarded with a Public Protection Classification of “1,” by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). That ranks the department among the top public safety agencies in the country for the 14th straight year.

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