September 09, 2016

Sens. Warren, Markey, and Reps. McGovern, Neal, and Tsongas Announce $2.6M in Grants to Massachusetts Fire Departments

Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey along with Representatives Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, and Niki Tsongas announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded four fire departments in Massachusetts $2.6 million in grants through the Staffing for Adequate & Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) and the Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) programs. SAFER grants are awarded to support the hiring of trained, "front line" firefighters in communities and FP&S grants are awarded to support projects that enhance the safety of the public and of firefighters.

The FEMA fire grants awarded today to Massachusetts fire departments include:

• $1,245,940 SAFER grant to the Holyoke Fire Department to fill ten positions vacated by attrition

• $1,122,864 SAFER grant to the Pittsfield Fire Department to hire four new firefighters and to fill four positions vacated by attrition

• $96,439 SAFER grant to the Tyngsborough Fire Department to fund a call/volunteer firefighter recruitment & retention program

• $173,131 FP&S grant to the Worcester Fire Department for a safe cooking fire prevention program

"Massachusetts firefighters put their lives on the line to keep our families safe, and they deserve our thanks and our support," Senator Elizabeth Warren said. "I'm very glad that these federal grants will help ensure that our fire departments have the staff and resources they need to serve our communities safely and effectively."

"Massachusetts firefighters are committed to ensuring the safety and security of their communities and these new grants will enhance their ability to do so. Our first responders are our hometown heroes, but heroes need help too. These important federal grants will help us recruit and hire more firefighters and ensure they can efficiently and effectively protect the citizens of our cities and towns," said Senator Edward J. Markey.

"The firefighters and first responders in western Massachusetts put their lives at risk every day helping to keep our communities safe. In an emergency, they think of others before they think of themselves. I want to congratulate Chief Pond of Holyoke and Chief Czerwinski of Pittsfield and their teams for securing these significant federal grants. These funds will allow both departments to hire more personnel to improve their ability to respond to all fire related hazards. It's very good news for both cities," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

"Our community in Worcester is safer thanks to Chief Gardell and our local firefighters. The Safe Cooking Program is a great community partnership that helps the Worcester Fire Department educate local residents about fire safety in the kitchen," Congressman Jim McGovern said. I am grateful to FEMA for providing this funding that will help to continue this important program and keep Worcester seniors and other local residents safe at home."

"The Tyngsborough Fire Department received these needed federal funds through a competitive grant process, which speaks to both the quality of their application and the Department in general. 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," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.

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