September 13, 2019

Massachusetts Lawmakers Announce Approximately $5.4 Million in Federal Assistance to Massachusetts Fire Departments

Saugus Fire Dept. Awarded Over $884K to Hire Five New Firefighters

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Richard E. Neal (D-MA-01), James P. McGovern (D-MA-02), William Keating (D-MA-09), Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA-04), Katherine Clark (D-MA-05) and Seth Moulton (D-MA-06), announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded 14 fire departments in Massachusetts over $5.4 million in federal grants. Nine fire departments received funding through FEMA's Staffing for Adequate & Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) program, while five fire departments were awarded funding through the agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program.

The SAFER grants awarded to Massachusetts fire departments include:

  • $884,883 to the Saugus Fire Department to hire five new firefighters.
  • $731,527 to the Ashland Fire Department to hire four new firefighters.
  • $730,281 to the Holyoke Fire Department to hire six new firefighters.
  • $681,503 to the Revere Fire Department to hire four new firefighters.
  • $556,554 to the Sharon Fire Department to hire four new firefighters.
  • $524,026 to the Rutland Fire Department to hire three new firefighters.
  • $340,508 to the Auburn Fire Department to hire two new firefighters.
  • $292,300 to the Wellfleet Fire Department to hire two new firefighters.
  • $246,994 to the Norfolk Fire Department to hire two new firefighters.

The AFG grants awarded to Massachusetts fire departments include:

  • $228,343 to the Athol Fire Department for 30 firefighter breathing apparatuses and 30 face pieces.
  • $85,995 to the Chatham Fire Department for three power stretchers and three ambulance stretcher lift systems.
  • $46,829 to the Holden Fire Department for 15 sets of firefighter protective gear.
  • $32,800 to the Reading Fire Department for four firefighter protective gear washers and two dryers.
  • $14,032 to the Holbrook Fire Department for nine mobile radios.

"Our brave firefighters are out on the front lines each day working to keep our families safe, and it's up to us to make sure they have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "I thank the recipients for their hard work to secure these grants and for their tireless efforts to protect our community."

"Our firefighters risk their lives to protect our communities from danger and to keep our loved ones safe," said Senator Ed Markey. "We need to ensure that they get the resources and support they need to continue their work as hometown heroes. I congratulate all of the Massachusetts communities that have secured this critical funding to support our firefighters and the safety and security of our towns and cities."

"I congratulate Chief John Pond and his entire team at the Holyoke Fire Department for their work in securing this important grant. The federal assistance announced today will allow the department to hire 6 new firefighters to help keep the citizens of Holyoke safe. I have always believed that our brave firefighters and first responders deserve the resources necessary to do their jobs effectively. This $700,000 SAFER grant will allow the Holyoke Fire Department to significantly expand their fire and emergency services," said Congressman Richard E. Neal. 

"This is fantastic news for Athol and Auburn. Our firefighters work day in and day out to protect us. We can't repay the debt of gratitude we owe them - but what we can do is make sure they have the tools, training, and support they need to keep our communities safe," said Congressman Jim McGovern "I'm proud to fight for our first responders and I'm so thankful for everything they do to keep our Commonwealth safe."

"I commend the Chatham Fire Department on this grant for new life-saving equipment, which will undoubtedly only add to the expert and efficient service already provided by the Department," said Congressman Bill Keating.

"More than just bravery and courage, firefighters are defined by a selfless, unconditional commitment to keep their neighbors safe," said Congressman Joe Kennedy. "As our Commonwealth's fire departments work day and night to protect us, this grant funding will allow them to hire more firefighters and modernize the training and equipment necessary to protect them."

"Our first responders work tirelessly to keep our communities safe," said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. "Just as our firefighters keep us safe, we need to ensure they have the resources and personnel to do their job safely and effectively. This SAFER grant will go a long way to achieving this goal. I congratulate both the Revere and Ashland Fire Departments on these much-needed and deserved resources."

"I know what it's like to go into harm's way without the right equipment, like in those days in Iraq when we didn't have the right armor for ourselves or our trucks. We should expect better for the firefighters in our community. I'm glad these FEMA grants have come through, and I'll keep working to make sure firefighters always have the gear and training they need to do their jobs," said Congressman Seth Moulton.

"As an Ashland resident, I am thrilled that our fire department will be receiving these critical funds to ensure they will be able to hire and train more firefighters.  First responders play a vital role in our community, and I join my neighbors in being grateful every day for the hard work and sacrifices they make to keep us safe," said Massachusetts Senate President Karen E. Spilka.

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