U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin
August 15, 2013

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced that the Ralston Fire Department has been awarded $35,269 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program (AFP).

The Operations and Safety grant will be used to increase the effectiveness of fire operations and support firefighter safety. Harkin is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and was a cosponsor of the legislation that authorized this program.

"It is important that we do all that we can to keep Iowans safe and ensure that our firefighters have adequate resources," said Harkin. "The grant will allow the Ralston Fire Department to acquire the equipment, technolog, and support to better protect our homes and loved ones."

Although the program assists rural, urban and suburban fire departments throughout the United States, it places a particular emphasis on rural fire departments. At least 55 percent of the program's funding must go to fire departments that use volunteer firefighters. This means that smaller towns are not competing against larger cities., Harkin said.

Additionally, the program allows smaller communities to contribute less in local funding.