City of Niles firefighters get $50,000 grant funds

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Niles City Fire Department has received $49,223 under the federal Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program.
The announcement was made by U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., of St. Joseph. on Tuesday.
The grant, awarded by the Emergency and Response Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S Fire Administration, will be used to buy additional hazardous material response equipment for the fire department's HAZMAT unit.
Lamb said the HAZMAT team is especially important with the greater Niles area being home to several large industrial facilities that use or produce hazardous materials daily.
While Berrien County Sheriff's Department provides response from their headquarters in St. Joseph, that is many miles away and precious time can be lost in combating a hazardous material crisis, Lamb said.
He said the city fire department's goal is to bridge the gap by providing a well trained and equipped hazardous materials response force capable of mitigating smaller chemical incidents while the county team is en route to the scene.
The HAZMAT unit was developed by the city fire and police departments and Niles Township Fire Department.
The unit operates from a 24-foot trailer modified to fit the unit's needs.
The group raised $30,000 from the community to purchase the trailer and specialized equipment to establish the team.
The latest grant will supply the group with a specialized self-contained breathing apparatus, a large decontamination tent and communications equipment. "We're going to end up with some of the best equipment in the area," Lamb said.
He said in two years, the three departments have been able to build a program they can be really proud of. Lamb is grateful for the help the three departments have received from the local community in developing the HAZMAT unit.
While Berrien County Sheriff's Department provides response from their headquarters in St. Joseph, that is many miles away and precious time can be lost in combating a hazardous material crisis, Lamb said.
He said the city fire departments goal is to bridge the gap by providing a well trained and equipped hazardous materials response force capable of mitigating smaller chemical incidents while the county team is en route to the scene.

Dowagiac

Dowagiac schools receive positive audit

News

Niles Township passes sewage increase

Business

Four Flags Antique Mall acquires new owners

Dowagiac

14th annual Sandhill Crane All Trail Race draws record numbers

Cass County

Woman in stable condition following Sunday shooting

Cass County

Suspect pleads guilty in Dowagiac murder case

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in southwest Michigan

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD Parents as Teachers program receives national recognition

Dowagiac

Sister Lakes Brewing Company hosts Dewey Lake Monster conference

Giving

Chili cook-off benefited displaced veterans through chow, competition and charity

Cass County

Cass County seeks volunteers for boards, committees

Berrien County

Operation Safe Stop runs this week

Cass County

Woman shot in Calvin Township, suspect arrested in Goshen

Cassopolis

Cassopolis Middle School student tests positive for COVID-19

Berrien County

Buchanan Township man hospitalized following Friday evening stabbing

Dowagiac

Dowagiac District Library launches new programs

Dowagiac

Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac to host fifth annual mommy, son event

Dowagiac

Rotary ready to volunteer at Sandhill Crane Run

Berrien County

YMCA of Greater Michiana opens full day childcare at Northside Child Development Center

News

Fall hiking tour planned at Madeline Bertrand County Park

Berrien County

Cass, Berrien counties to see internet accessibility expand

Cass County

Illegal immigrant sentenced on drug, cockfighting charges

Cass County

National Underground Railroad Network to include URSCC program

Cass County

Cass fire chief honored as VFW Michigan’s Firefighter of the Year