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           Washington, D.C. - The Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department is set to receive federal funding for WyoLink radios, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., that would help improve communication and help firefighters more effectively help residents. The new radios will enable the Wheatland firefighters as well as other Platte County fire departments to better communicate with the State Fire Marshall office and the state Department of Homeland Security.

           The funding is provided through a county wide grant administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Grants and Training in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

           Early last year Senator Enzi encouraged Wyoming fire departments to take advantage of the millions of dollars in federal grants by attending informational workshops about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP).

           "It is very important that fire departments have the opportunity to expand their equipment and training," said Enzi. "Local firefighters put their lives on the line to protect their community, they should have access to the best resources possible."

            To date, 20 different grants totaling more than $2 million have been given to the state of Wyoming from the fiscal year 2005 funding.

            In 2006 alone, the Department of Homeland Security awarded approximately $485 million nationally to fire departments and EMS organizations through the AFGP. Grant money can be used by recipients for firefighter health and safety programs, enhancing emergency medical services, the purchase of additional personal protection equipment, or modifications to fire stations and facilities.

            A current list of award recipients and dates announced is posted at www.usfa.fema.gov. A complete list of applications, financial information and state fire department data is available at www.firegrantsupport.com.

            Fire departments with questions regarding the grant program can reach the fire grants help desk at 1-866-274-0960, or by writing to firegrants@dhs.gov. For more information on this specific grant contact Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department Chief, Scott Scheller at 307-331-0289.