Lt. Jeff Cochran, a Stow Fire Department firefighter/paramedic, can confidently add grant writing to his list of job skills. Thanks to his efforts, the department has been awarded nearly $34,000 to purchase new life-saving equipment.

That award comes on the heels of $743,741 in federal funding the department received in January to fill five full-time firefighter positions that have been vacant since early 2008. Cochran also authored that grant request. City Council approved filling three of those vacancies, and Chief Bill Kalbaugh said the city is still testing to fill the other two positions.

The recent award of $33,930 comes courtesy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grants program. Stow is one of 177 Ohio fire departments splitting a pot of $19,085,032 made available in the AFG’s 2010 funding cycle.

Cochran said the AFG grant will fund the purchase of four thermal imaging cameras and a new rescue saw.

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