HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the City of Derby a $50,000 Firefighters Grant. The funding will be used to purchase a new air compressor and refill system for the firefighters’ critical airpacks which allow them to breathe when entering a smoke-filled building or other hazardous situations.

“When a firefighter enters a burning building, they put their lives in grave danger. This well-deserved funding will help ensure the Derby Fire Department has the best, most-up to date equipment needed to continue to courageously protect and save lives while taking care of their own,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro.

“We’re very excited to be receiving this grant. This funding will help us acquire this costly piece of equipment and put less burden on taxpayers,” said David Lenart, Assistant Chief, Derby Fire Department.

According to FEMA, the AFG program has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards since 2001.