HALIFAX: The provincial government has announced a $1.4 million investment for first-responder organizations across Nova Scotia to purchase necessary safety equipment.

“Many of these organizations are supported by volunteers, who put countless hours into training and responding to emergencies,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “This funding will help ensure they have the tools and equipment to keep them safe.”

In the Strait area, the Antigonish County Volunteer Fire Department was approved for $20,000; the Antigonish Town Fire Department will receive $19,147.50; the Chedabucto Fire Department was greenlit for $17,156.37; the Erinville and District Volunteer Fire Department will get $5,432.89; the Grand River Volunteer Fire Department will see $20,000 in funding; the Port Hood and District Volunteer Fire Department will receive $20,000; and the We’koqma’q First Nation Volunteer Fire Department was approved for $14,901.75.

The Emergency Services Provider Fund offers financial assistance to fire departments and ground search and rescue organizations, including hazardous materials teams (HAZMAT), to upgrade equipment that is used directly in response to a fire or emergency.

“This program provides necessary funding to help buy and replace safety equipment,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Chuck Porter.

In May 2019, the program criteria changed to allow organizations to choose from a broader list of eligible equipment such as GPS and mapping/tracking software and purchase equipment from up to three of the six categories, instead of just one.

In total, 80 organizations are receiving funding under the program for 2019-20. Organizations are eligible for funding every three years and can apply for up to 75 per cent of the total equipment costs to a maximum of $20,000.

The six categories for purchasing are: personal protective equipment; communications; rescue equipment; firefighting equipment; HAZMAT equipment; and miscellaneous equipment

Full list of 2019-20 Emergency Service Provider Fund grant recipients is available at: https://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/emergency-services-provider-fund-grant-recipients-2019.