FEMA approves $15.2 million for Firefighters Bureau projects
By The Star Staff
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved projects for which the Firefighters Bureau requested funds under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, for a total of 21 emergency and permanent works projects for a total of $15.4 million.
Of those, about $10.7 million will be distributed in 18 permanent projects, where the funds will be used for upgrades to the structures belonging to the bureau and for content replacement as a result of damage from Hurricane Maria.
“With the completion of all recovery funding obligations for the Fire Department, we are paving the way for the agency to have optimal facilities for its employees and the public,” said José G. Baquero, the federal disaster recovery coordinator for Puerto Rico. “The repairs to this essential public safety agency will allow first responders to continue working and training.”
Notable projects include repairs to the Fire Academy in the Jueyes neighborhood of Salinas, which will benefit from a federal grant for work on the trailers used for storage, the training room, the classroom, academy offices, the hazardous materials simulator, and for refilling oxygen tanks.
Meanwhile, the obligation of $1.2 million for the repair of seven fire stations in the San Juan region includes the Hato Rey and San Juan Metropolitan stations, as well as stations in Corozal, Dorado, Guaynabo, Naranjito and Toa Baja.
The work includes the replacement of roof tiles, an air conditioner unit, portable radios, computers, monitors and other equipment; lead and asbestos management; and the replacement of various doors, lights, roofs, windows and fences, among other things.
The project also qualifies for about $220,000 in hazard mitigation funds for structural reinforcements and management of leaks, among other repairs to prevent similar damage from future atmospheric events.
The Firefighters Bureau also has among its approved funds $1.5 million for repairs to the bureau’s central workshop on Las Palmas Street in Santurce, which was built in 1950.
For the Caguas region, FEMA approved $1.3 million for repairs in various bureau facilities, including the municipalities of Humacao, Juncos, Las Piedras, Maunabo, Naguabo, San Lorenzo and Yabucoa.
In addition, FEMA obligated some $903,500 for repairs to various fire stations in the Aguadilla region. The funds will contribute to repairs at two stations in Cabo Rojo ─ including the one in Boquerón ─ as well as the fire stations in Aguada, Aguadilla, Añasco, Hormigueros, Isabela, Lajas and Las Marías.