September 21, 2018

Mass. Lawmakers Announce Over $3.3 Million in Grants to Aid Massachusetts Fire Departments

Northeastern University Granted $1.5 Million for Firefighter Safety Research

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with Representatives Richard E. Neal, Michael E. Capuano, Niki Tsongas, Katherine Clark, and Seth Moulton, announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded over $3.3 million in federal grants to aid Massachusetts firefighters. Awarded through FEMA's Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants and Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) Grants programs, this funding will help provide the Commonwealth's firefighters with the support they need to protect their communities.
The AFG funding awarded to Massachusetts fire departments includes:
  • $452,728 to the Gardner Fire Department for a new fire pumper engine.
  • $142, 319 to the Methuen Fire Department for firefighter wellness and fitness activities.
  • $928,572 to the Salisbury Fire Department for a pumper/ladder/quint fire truck.
  • $54,259 to the Sturbridge Fire Department for an air compressor/air refill system.
  • 160,000 to the Wayland Fire Department for a firefighter breathing apparatus.
The SAFER grant was awarded to the following Massachusetts fire department:
  • $90,200 to the Ashburnham Fire Department to fund a call/volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention program.
The following FP&S grant was awarded to help aid fire departments across Massachusetts:
  • $1,500,000 to Northeastern University in Boston to fund a research and development project to study the proper care and cleaning of firefighter protective clothing.
"After the devastating explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley last week, we can see just how essential it is that the firefighters across Massachusetts, volunteer and career, have the resources they need to carry out their mission as effectively as possible," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "With these federal grants that will help provide necessary equipment, greater staffing, and important research, we are able to give back to the brave men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe each day."
"Our firefighters are heroes, but even the bravest heroes need help," said Senator Markey. "These much-needed federal grants will give our first responders the equipment, training, and resources they need to keep our Commonwealth communities safe and secure. I congratulate all the cities and towns for working to secure this vital funding."
"The Sturbridge Fire Department will benefit greatly from this $54,259 grant from FEMA for new equipment. I congratulate Chief John Grasso and his team for their efforts to secure this valuable federal assistance. The brave men and women who serve as firefighters and first responders in Massachusetts deserve the resources necessary to do their jobs effectively. This grant will help make the Town of Sturbridge safer," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.
"The Gardner, Methuen, and Ashburnham 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."
"From natural disasters to building fires, our first responders face incredible situations of adversity," said Congresswoman Katherine Clark.  "I am grateful that we were able to secure these additional resources from FEMA to keep our brave men and women protected as they fight every day to keep our communities safe."
"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 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.