Greencastle Fire Chief Bill Newgent, along with 11 other fire chiefs from Indiana, visited U.S. Senator Dick Lugar in Washington, D.C. during the 18th annual National Fire and Emergency Services Seminar.
Hosted by the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the event included 3,000 fire chiefs from across the nation.
Also included in the delegation was James Greeson of the Indianapolis Fire Department, Larry Curl, Indianapolis, Tim Deckard, Bloomington, Dale Henson, Indianapolis, Larry Ketchem, Montezuma Fire, L.E. Koehler, Rensselaer, Jerry Nulliner, Fishers, Charlie Parker, Tell City, Maurice Sorg, Fort Wayne, Carol Thrawley, Spiceland, and Al Williamson, Clarksville.
Newgent later visited with Lugar's staff to discuss the Assistance to Firefighters Program administered by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
This program provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. In 2005, 149 fire grants worth $15.7 million were awarded to Indiana.
More than 25 Hoosier fire departments and volunteer fire departments have contacted Lugar's office since mid-March to request information on the program and ask for letters of support. Applications request fire trucks, personal protection equipment, pumpers, oxygen tanks and face masks.
Applications are automated and accessible via the Assistance to Firefighter Grants webstie: www.firegrantsupport.com.
"I was very honored to be able to represent Indiana as a delegate," Newgent said.
"It was a new experience for me to be able to meet some of our senators and Congressmen."
Newgent said he was asked to attend due to the fact that he is the vice president of the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association. Next year he will be the president, he said.