HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government is spending $1.25 million to buy new emergency equipment for first responders in the province.

The funding will help fire departments, ground search and rescue organizations and hazardous materials organizations upgrade equipment, such as helmets, boots and hoses, used in response to a fire or emergency.

Categories include personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus, communications, rescue equipment, firefighting equipment, hazardous material (HAZMAT) equipment, water supply and suppression equipment, as well as emergency power for buildings.

Seventy-four organizations across Nova Scotia will receive funding under the program for 2020-2021. Organizations can apply every three years.

"Many of these organizations are supported by volunteers, who put hours of their own time into training and responding to emergencies in their communities,” said Chuck Porter, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a news release. “This funding ensures they have the tools and equipment to be safe while carrying out their duties."

The Emergency Services Provider Fund will provide up to 75 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000.