The province is helping more than 50 fire departments and emergency response organizations keep Nova Scotians and their property safe with new equipment bought through the Emergency Services Provider Fund. Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Maurice Smith, on behalf of John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, announced funding for nine projects in Antigonish, Pictou and Guysborough counties and Halifax Regional Municipality today, Sept. 14. “Funds provided through this program help fire departments and first responders purchase equipment to help them carry out their duties safely and effectively,” said Mr. Smith. “We are committed to making our communities safe, healthy places to live for all Nova Scotians.” The Emergency Services Provider Fund is a $500,000, application-based program that provides up to 50 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000 for approved projects. Projects include essential equipment such as jaws of life, self-contained breathing apparatuses, ice rescue equipment, communication equipment, thermal imaging cameras, and pumps, hoses, and nozzles. “The funding we are receiving will assist us in purchasing personal protective equipment, such as breathing apparatuses, for our members to use while carrying out their duties,” said Bill Chisholm, fire chief, Antigonish Town Volunteer Fire Department. A list of funded projects can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/espf/ .