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Dartmouth Fire Department photo.

Massachusetts awards $5 million to fire departments, including New Bedford, Fall River, Dartmouth


“STOW — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced $5 million in awards to 321 Massachusetts fire departments through the state’s Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program.

“Every single day, firefighters across Massachusetts put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities,” said Governor Maura Healey. “They deserve our thanks and our support. The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program is just one way we can express our appreciation for that selfless dedication.”

“From structure fires and water rescues to hazardous materials and building collapses, firefighters never know what life-threatening risks the next call will bring,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll. “These grants will support the purchase of fundamental tools and specialty equipment to help them do a dangerous job more safely.”

Fire departments across Massachusetts were invited to apply to the Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program, which provides reimbursement on purchases of 135 different types of eligible equipment. Eligible items include hoses and nozzles, turnout gear, ballistic protective equipment, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, and more. In many cases, the purchase of this equipment will help departments attain compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration or National Fire Protection Association safety standards. This is the fourth year that funding has been awarded through the program.

“For the second year in a row, many fire departments are using this program to provide their personnel with ballistic vests and helmets so they can make life-saving rescues in active shooter situations,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy. “As we confront this growing threat and other emerging hazards, we are proud of the way Massachusetts fire departments have risen to every challenge.”

“While smoke and flames are the most obvious threats to firefighters’ safety, occupational cancer is the leading cause of death in the fire service,” said Deputy Secretary Susan Terrey. “We now know that wearing the right type of protective gear and cleaning it properly can reduce that risk. This program will give many firefighters access to tools that will help protect them from the number one threat to their health and well-being.”

“The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grants are an investment in the health and safety of Massachusetts firefighters,” said State Fire Marshal Jon Davine. “The flexibility of the program is especially valuable because it allows each department to make purchases based on their specific needs and resources. It has become a vital part of the way the Massachusetts fire service prepares for the constantly evolving threats in the world around us.”

“Firefighters who have the proper protective gear and contemporary rescue tools are much better able to protect themselves and the residents they serve,” said Hyannis Fire Chief Peter Burke, President of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts. “These grant awards will have immeasurable impacts on public safety in Massachusetts for years to come.”

A complete list of the awards by department can be found here. The 20 item categories most frequently funded through this year’s grants are broken down by Item and Quantity:

• Hoses, Nozzles, Fittings, and Adapters 1,262
• Coats 659
• Gloves 618
• Hoods 539
• Ballistic Vest 515
• Helmets 436
• Pants 409
• Ballistic Helmet 371
• Boots 351
• Combustible/Hazardous Gas Detectors 166
• Thermal Imaging Cameras 133
• Hand Tools 119
• SCBA Facepieces 104
• SCBA Bottles 102
• Portable (handheld) Radios 97
• Rescue Litters 76
• Cold Water Immersion Suits 63
• Extrication Tools 54
• Rescue Saw 49
• Vehicle Stabilization Struts 43″

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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