August 31, 2018

Mass. Congressional Delegation Announces Nearly $4 Million in Federal Funding to Massachusetts Fire Departments

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with Representatives Richard E. Neal, James P. McGovern, Michael Capuano, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton, announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded sixteen fire departments in Massachusetts nearly $4 million in federal grants.  Ten fire departments received funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program, while four fire departments were awarded funding through the Staffing for Adequate & Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) program.  Additionally, two fire departments were awarded grants through the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) program.

The AFG grants awarded to Massachusetts fire departments include:

  • $293,966 to the Duxbury Fire Department for firefighter breathing apparatus and an air compressor / air refill station.
  • $193,753 to the Shirley Fire Department for mobile and portable radios.
  • $164,739 to the Tewksbury Fire Department for portable radios and a protective gear washer and dryer.
  • $119,048 to the Maynard Fire Department for a fire sprinkler system for their fire station and wellness and fitness activities.
  • $89,667 to the Rockland Fire Department for vehicle extrication equipment.
  • $49,091 to the Somerville Fire Department for portable radios.
  • $27,728 to the Arlington Fire Department for an air compressor / air refill station.
  • $24,239 to the Westhampton Fire Department for a firefighting hose.
  • $23,334 to the Harvard Fire Department for a firefighting hose.
  • $22,858 to the Manchester Fire Department for vehicle extrication equipment.

The SAFER grants awarded to Massachusetts fire departments include:

  • $802,841 to the Mansfield Fire Department to hire four new firefighters.
  • $731,032 to the Somerset Fire Department to hire four new firefighters.
  • $604,839 to the Reading Fire Department to hire four new firefighters.
  • $505,006 to the Stoneham Fire Department to hire four new firefighters.

The FP&S grants awarded to Massachusetts fire departments include:

  • $171,299 to the Worcester Fire Department to implement a Cooking Fire Education & Prevention Campaign.
  • $6,180 to the Dunstable Fire Department for fire investigator training.

"The federal government should be a strong partner for our cities and towns, and that means supporting our firefighters and first responders," said Senator Warren. "These federal dollars will help ensure that our firefighters have the staffing, training and equipment necessary to continue protecting our communities in the safest way possible.  I am grateful for their tireless service to the Commonwealth and grateful to FEMA for their continued support."

"We need to support our first responders in the same way they support us, with timely action," said Senator Edward J. Markey.  "That's why this funding for brace and committed firefighters is so vital. There's no price that can be placed on the value of heroism, but these grants will go a long way towards giving our firefighters the tools and resources they need to keep doing their jobs for our cities and towns across the Commonwealth."

"The Westhampton Fire Department will benefit greatly from this $24,239 grant from FEMA for a new firefighting hose. I congratulate Fire Chief Christopher Norris for his leadership in securing this valuable federal assistance. The brave men and women who serve as firefighters and first responders in western Massachusetts deserve the necessary resources to do their jobs effectively. This important grant will help make the Town of Westhampton safer," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

"Preventing fires before they start is one of the best ways to keep our first responders out of harm's way," said Congressman McGovern. "Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. This Fire Prevention and Safety Grant allows the Worcester Fire Department to implement a cooking fire education & prevention campaign that will help keep our families - and our firefighters - safe."

"We should never send firefighters into harm's way without all the equipment and staffing they need," said Congressman Michael Capuano.  "This round of AFG and SAFER grants will help purchase vital equipment, like portable radios for Somerville firefighters, and fund vital firefighter positions across the Commonwealth.  I applaud FEMA for this investment."

"The Harvard, Maynard, Shirley, and Dunstable Fire Departments received these needed federal funds through a competitive grant process, which speaks to both the quality of their applications and the Departments in general," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.  "Given the constraints on state and local budgets, competitive grant funds such as these help to maintain public safety in our communities and provide first responders with access to the resources they need to save lives. Our volunteer and career firefighters sacrifice a great deal to protect our communities and it is our duty to provide them with the equipment, staffing and training they need to keep their departments running safely and efficiently."

"Our first responders are put in difficult situations on a day to day basis," said Congressman Bill Keating. "I am very glad to see Rockland and Duxbury's Fire Departments get over $300,000 to upgrade the equipment they need to keep themselves and out communities safe."

"As stewards of our safety, firefighters risk life and limb to protect our neighborhoods day and night," said Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. "With this increased federal funding, the Mansfield Fire Department can significantly expand their ranks and continue their excellent community care. I congratulate the department on this well-deserved grant."

"Our firefighters risk everything to protect our communities and deserve all the support and resources we can muster to protect them in return," said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. "I extend my congratulations to Arlington and Stoneham for securing these critical grant dollars that will strengthen their already impressive fire departments." 

"Municipal budgets are spread thin, often leaving our firefighters, police officers, and first responders inadequately prepared for the challenges they come across every day," said Congressman Seth Moulton. "These men and women are on the front lines of the opioid crisis and are the ones pulling flood victims from fast moving water. We owe it to them to keep them safe the from exposure to carcinogens and toxins; something as simple as these specialized washing machines help with that fight. With additional resources and personnel, they will be better protected as they go about their work to keep us safe."

More information about FEMA's fire grant programs is available here.