RI Fire Departments Receive Nearly $800,000 in Federal Grants to Strengthen Emergency Response

Thursday, June 22, 2017

PROVIDENCE, RI - Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Congressman David Cicilline announced $799,532 in federal funding to benefit fire departments across Northern Rhode Island.  These Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) Grants will help establish a firefighter accountability system across seven departments, provide new radio equipment for six fire and EMS departments in Lincoln, and allow the North Providence Fire Department to acquire new chest compression devices and automatic defibrillators.

In Lincoln, the Albion, Lime Rock, Manville, Quinville, and Saylvesville Fire Districts, along with the Lincoln Rescue Department, will receive $388,637 to purchase new radios, mobile radios, and mobile repeater units.  The new radio equipment will enhance the speed and effectiveness of communication between the departments.

The Lime Rock Fire Department is also receiving $38,667 for four thermal imaging cameras (TICs) to replace the department’s 15-year-old TICs, which lack newer technology and are in need of replacement due to exposure to extreme conditions.

Seven fire departments, including Smithfield, North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Lime Rock, Saylesville, Albion, and Cumberland, will split a federal share of $203,500 to purchase a new firefighter accountability system.  The accountability system will assist the departments in keeping better track of the location and condition of their firefighters while operating at emergency incidents.

The North Providence Fire Department will use its $168,728 grant to acquire new chest compression devices and automatic defibrillators, which will help their fire-based EMS engine and ladders companies earn Advanced Life Support (ALS) licensing.

“Firefighters deserve the best. That means quality equipment that lets them do their jobs safely and effectively.  And when we do that, it makes all of us safer,” said Congressman Cicilline, who advocated directly to FEMA on behalf of the applications for Lincoln and North Providence.  “I’m proud to help bring this funding back to Rhode Island.  I look forward to continue fighting for firefighters all across our state.”

“The Fire Grant program is an essential tool for helping our firefighters get the equipment they need to serve our communities and save lives,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, who helped secure $345 million available for the Fire Grants in the latest Omnibus Appropriations law and hosts an annual workshop for fire departments applying for grants.  “This is a very competitive process, so I want to congratulate the departments on winning these grants.”

“Our firefighters put their lives on the line so Rhode Islanders can rest easier,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “Rhode Island fire departments will use these funds to upgrade equipment and help first responders do their jobs safely and effectively.  Congratulations to the chiefs on their successful proposals.”

Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state successfully secured over $34 million in AFG awards to pay for equipment upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.

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