GONZALES — Gonzales Fire Department and the Monterey County Regional Fire District are collaborating on a grant for a new firetruck.
Gonzales Fire Chief Jason Muscio was approached by the Monterey County Regional Fire District Chief Michael Urquides to jointly apply for a grant to purchase an aerial apparatus, or a ladder truck.
According to Muscio, the truck would be primarily owned by Monterey County Regional District but could be used by the Gonzales Fire Department. The truck would be stationed in Chualar and available to Gonzales Fire on an immediate need basis.
“We’ve found over the last couple of years in dealing with FEMA that regional grants and taking a regional approach have a higher success probability of being funded,” said Muscio.
To receive the funding, the Gonzales Fire Department needed partners that would agree to collaborate in the grant and it needed to replace an existing apparatus. Muscio said the original idea was for the Monterey County Regional Fire to host the grant and the Gonzales Fire Department would be a participant, but the county was maxed out on its funding.
“They are still bearing all the administrative costs, everything moving forward with the grant and everything to administer after the grant is done,” Muscio said. “They’re only asking our costs here, which is somewhere between $9,000 and $10,000.”
Muscio said the addition of the new fire ladder truck is a great way to get a new resource into the area that will be useful for the Gonzales Fire Department and especially with the expansion of the Agricultural Industrial Business Park.
“I think it’s a great idea when we partner like this,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Liz Silva. “It sounds very similar to partnering with Four Cities For Peace. I think it’s the same type of collaboration.”