Coweta County Fire/Rescue and the Newnan-Coweta County Airport have applied for grant funding to help cover the costs and losses from COVID-19.
The fire department is requesting a $66,000 grant to pay for personal protective equipment for first responders. The request is for the 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – COVID-19 Supplemental.
“Coweta County Fire Rescue Department’s request for grant funding is directly related to medical PPE to ensure our team is always ready to respond to events such as COVID-19,” said Chief Pat Wilson.
The money will be used to outfit responders with personal protective gear, to include N95 masks, reusable gowns and other personal protection.
Wilson said he expects the department to face challenges from COVID-19 well into the future, and that the long-term need for the additional PPE that will be here well past the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Wilson said that, based on the departments’ calculations, the grant funding should provide enough gear to outfit first responders if there is a second wave of COVID-19.
The department has used significant gear so far during the pandemic. Though the department hopes to be able to recoup some of that cost, “this grant is directly related to our team being prepared for what the future may bring us,” Wilson said.
“It is our hope that the current pandemic will end soon. However, we must be prepared for whatever takes place, regardless.”
The airport is requesting $69,000 in grant funds to help cover operational expenses since Jan. 20.
Under the state’s shelter in place order allowing only essential travel, the airport’s fuel sales were down, said Airport Manager Calvin Walker. Corporate traffic was down substantially over previous years. However, Walker said, May fuel sales were encouraging, with “pleasure flights” increasing.
Falcon Flight Academy, which was located at the airport, closed earlier this year. “Although Falcon Flight Academy dispensed their own fuel, they paid the airport a fuel flowage fee, so their closure will impact the airport financially” as well, Walker said.
The airport had to remain open for essential traffic, without the normal fuel sale income. “The CARES Act will allow us to recoup the losses we suffered during the state order,” Walker said.