HUDSON – The Hudson Fire Department is hoping grant funding could help launch a new municipal “Knox Box” program that would help first responders more quickly get to vulnerable residents in emergency situations.
The Hudson Select Board voted on Feb. 7 to authorize Fire Chief Bryan Johannes to apply for a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant – a program offered through FEMA.
Johannes said money won through the grant could be used to expand access to Knox Boxes, which are individual safes that hold keys to a residential or business address.
The fire department would be able to unlock a box and enter a home or business to render aid to occupants who may be immobile.
“If we had some more boxes, we could gain access to a home for someone who is less ambulatory and couldn’t come to the door so we could render aid,” Johannes told the Community Advocate after the Select Board’s vote this week.
Hudson already hosts its own commercial program, Johannes said.
Through that, businesses provide sets of keys to the fire department in case of emergency. Residents can also purchase their own box for the department to use as needed as well.
The deadline for applications for this FEMA grant is Feb. 18. As he described possible uses for funding, Johannes did caution that the town will be competing with other departments who apply.
“I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up high as there’s only 150 awards expected across the country,” Johannes said.