He was taken by surprise. The announcement by Sen. Ted Stevens' office went out to the media before grant recipients were notified.
"Ooh, ooh," said Skagway Fire Chief Martin Beckner. "That's awesome. I'm so happy. Remember last year when I applied for the grant, I was so disappointed. Well, good. I'm glad."
With the grant award deadline just four days away, Beckner thought this year was a wash too.
The $261,360 grant will go to firefighter safety and equipment. The money will be used to buy a mobile training trailer and a mobile firefighting trailer as well as new breathing apparatus for firefighters.
While the mobile units will not be used all the time by Skagway, Beckner said part of the lure of the grant was the units will be used for free by other Southeast communities to train their personnel, and Skagway firefighters go along as paid instructors.