August 03, 2018

Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Announces $5.5 Million in FEMA Grants to Massachusetts Fire Departments

Lynn Fire Dept. Awarded Nearly $3.5 Million in Federal Funding

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with Representatives William Keating, Joseph P. Kennedy III, Seth Moulton and Katherine Clark, announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded seven fire departments in Massachusetts nearly $5.5 million in federal grants.  The Lynn Fire Department received a grant of nearly $3.5 million through FEMA's Staffing for Adequate & Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which helps organizations maintain or increase the number of trained front line firefighters available in their communities.  Three other fire departments also received funding through the SAFER program. Additionally, three fire departments were awarded grants through FEMA's Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) program, which provides funding to train emergency personnel and equip them with equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles and other necessary resources.

The SAFER grants awarded today to Massachusetts fire departments include:

  • $3,456,281 to the Lynn Fire Department to hire 20 new firefighters.
  • $681,503 to the Revere Fire Department to hire 4 new firefighters.
  • $645,221 to the Yarmouth Fire Department to hire 4 new firefighters.
  • $258,445 to the Freetown Fire Department to hire 2 new firefighters.

The AFG grants awarded today to Massachusetts fire departments include:

  • $321,819 to the Gloucester Fire Department for a new ambulance.
  • $65,170 to the Westfield Fire Department for active shooter training.
  • $45,623 to the Williamsburg Fire Department for firefighter breathing apparatus.

"Massachusetts firefighters work every day to ensure the safety of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, and I am grateful for their unyielding commitment to that mission," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "This federal funding will help guarantee that first responders have the staffing and resources they need as they continue to keep our families and communities safe."

"I am grateful for the selfless service firefighters provide to our Commonwealth every single day," said Senator Edward J. Markey. "Their courage merits the best equipment and training available. These well-earned federal grant awards will ensure that our first responders are equipped with the resources they need to keep our communities safe."

"The SAFER grants awarded to the Commonwealth will provide a tremendous boost to our fire departments," said Congressman Bill Keating. "In my district, Yarmouth will be able to add four additional first fighters to their already exceptional department, which has seen a consistent increase in calls over the years. These are the men and women protecting us each and every day. Anything we can do to support them, I am firmly behind."

"As stewards of our safety, firefighters risk life and limb to protect our neighborhoods day and night," said Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. "With these SAFER funds and two new firefighters, the Freetown Fire Department will be better prepared as they continue their mission to care for their neighbors. I congratulate Chief Silvia and the entire department on this well-earned and deserved award."

"More great news for Lynn! While the city has been making impressive progress over the past few years, the cuts to firefighters and other first responders have been unacceptable," said Congressman Seth Moulton. "Mayor McGee and the city councilors made it clear to me that this grant, along with the recent $1M federal police grant, was a top priority, and I am glad that FEMA listened and recognizes the importance of this investment."

"Firefighters are on the frontlines of public safety every day, and they deserve our support," said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. "The resources to hire four additional firefighters in Revere will help Chief Bright and the entire department continue their selfless work and keep the entire city safe."

"Good news for the city as Lynn has been awarded this SAFER grant which will add twenty additional firefighters to the Lynn Department. This grant will help us begin to build our force back up to the appropriate level needed to ensure public safety and protect our community," said Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee. "Thank you to Chief Archer and his team for all their work on the grant application, and to Senator Warren, Senator Markey and Congressman Moulton for their support to help make this reality."

"The grant allows us to get our staffing levels back to where we believe they need to be to adequately protect our community. We've seen reductions in our numbers in recent years-due to attrition and a hiring freeze-that have left us down 25 firefighters from where we were just 5 years ago," said Stephen L. Archer, Chief of the City of Lynn Fire Department. "The new-hires will mean an immediate improvement in the level of service, a reduction in the Department's overtime spending, and the added benefit of improved morale within the Department itself."

"On behalf of Chief Simonian, Yarmouth Town Administrator Dan Knapik, and myself we want to thank Congressman Keating for his support of the FEMA Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program," said Yarmouth Deputy Chief Jon Sawyer. "A SAFER grant was awarded in 2002, the last time Yarmouth Fire Department increased staffing. Emergency call volume in 2002 was 4378, in 2017 it was 7211. The increased staffing is much appreciated and very much needed. We would also like to thank Mr. David Parr of Department of Homeland Security/FEMA Region 1 for his help with the FEMA grant program."

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