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Millersville Professor Awarded FEMA Grants

Two major grants for Blue Rock Regional Fire District

Millersville University’s Dr. Duane Hagelgans, associate professor of Emergency Management, was awarded two grants by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Blue Rock Regional Fire District. The grants total nearly $500,000 and will be allocated to acquire new equipment, recruiting and retain firefighters for Blue Rock’s all-volunteer fire company.

“The first grant, the American Firefighter Grant, worth $329,000, will be used to replace Blue Rock’s outdated self-contained breathing apparatus,” says Hagelgans. “This grant will improve our safety for our volunteers while saving local taxpayers who would have had to take on this expense without this grant.”

Former Millersville students who served Blue Rock Regional Fire District with Dr. Duane Hagelgans.

Hagelgans further explain that the self-contained breathing apparatus allows the volunteer firefighters to enter hazardous environments for both life-saving and firefighting operations. Since the SCBA currently in use either have or will expire this year, it had to be replaced. Without the grant, the breathing apparatus would cost over $300,000 of local tax-payers dollars to replace.

The second grant is a Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from FEMA worth $129,000. The SAFER grant will be used to retain and increase recruitment efforts among the Blue Rock volunteer firefighters.

“These grants will go a long way to helping our community and sustaining our volunteer fire service in Millersville Borough and Manor Township,” says Hagelgans, “The volunteer fire service has had a rapid decline in membership these past twenty years.  Most citizens do not even realize that our firefighters are all volunteers.  This grant will help us with initiatives to recruit new volunteers, while also providing incentives to retain the volunteers we currently have in Blue Rock.”

For more than 30 years, Dr. Duane Hagelgans has been involved in emergency services. After retiring from the City of Lancaster, Bureau of Fire in 2011, he became the Fire Commissioner for Blue Rock Regional Fire District, which protects Millersville borough and the surrounding Manor Township. He’s is also currently the Emergency Management Coordinator of the regional emergency management zone in Millersville Borough and Manor Township.

Hagelgans holds an associate degree in Fire Science Technology from Harrisburg Area Community College; a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety from Millersville University and a juris doctorate degree from Widener University School of Law. He teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in emergency management at Millersville, through the Center for Disaster Research and Education.



2 replies on “Millersville Professor Awarded FEMA Grants”

Congratulations Duane and the Emergency Mgmt program for such a huge contribution to upgrade and improve fire safety for fire fighters and the community in general.

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