Police and firefighters weren’t forgotten when Congress passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package in March.
Within a week of the law’s enactment, aid began flowing to states and cities through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, run by the Justice Department. Much of that aid goes to police departments across the country, which have received more than $143 million so far, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of grant recipients.
But firefighters, who were promised $100 million, have yet to get a dime. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, requires a cumbersome peer review process for grant awards that can take months.
The result has been a frustrating wait for money designed to help fire departments buy personal protective equipment, thermometers, sanitizer sprayers and other material needed to fight fires during the pandemic.
VIDEO: A tenacious fire fueled by an estimated 1,000 plastic crates containing tomato products burned for at least seven hours Tuesday in east Stockton, growing to five alarms as it sent a massive black plume of smoke into the clear morning air visible for miles in all directions.
No structures were involved and no injuries were reported at the Mizkan America tomato-processing plant known for its Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauces near the southwest corner of Waterloo Road and D Street. One firefighter was transported to an area hospital suffering from heat exhaustion, according to the Stockton Fire Department. a quick attack, but the fire continued to grow. Several factors hampered their ability to quickly put out the blaze and that allowed it to spread to the plastic tomato crates in the middle of the pallet yard, according to Deputy Fire Chief Shannon Lewis.
New Hampshire was the first state to offer all first responders “hazard pay” bonuses for being on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But unlike Gov. Chris Sununu’s other relief initiatives, few states or the federal government have followed this one. And the $300-per-week bonuses for New Hampshire’s firefighters, police, EMS and corrections officers have drawn controversy.
“Governor Chris Sununu you should be ashamed of yourself; to not include the doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, those who are keeping people safe at home on hospice and caregivers providing needed personal assistance, let alone the cashiers at grocery stores,” Gayle Spence Davis posted on Facebook recently.
“I have no idea who gave you this advice, but you have been horribly misguided. We are on the front lines every day and frankly, you do not really care. Open up the economy a little more and see where that lands us.”
New Hampshire Union Leader
Weeks after learning there is a federal Arizona-specific model, Arizona’s top public health official released the model in an online blog post on Tuesday.
Dr. Cara Christ posting in a blog post, that FEMA has authorized them to share the models publicly.
The report release May 7 has a number of graphs and data charts that are specific to Arizona. Christ wrote in the blog, “This model previously predicted our peak resource utilization to occur around June 11, assuming our mitigation strategies were lifted at the end of the current Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected order on April 30. That order was extended through May 15th and was just recently lifted. The most recent model, dated May 7 predicts, even with the mitigation strategies lifted, that our current resources, including inpatient beds, ICU beds, and ventilators, are sufficient to meet a healthcare surge due to COVID-19.“
KNXV-TV ABC 15 Phoenix