RI Delegation Announces Nearly $3.9 Million for Local Fire Departments

Friday, August 21, 2020

PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced $3,884,710 in new federal funding for seventeen fire departments across the state.  The delegation says the cities, towns, and fire districts are receiving federal funds to purchase vital equipment, including fire hoses, trucks, high-tech breathing equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The federal funds are made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and will help local fire departments prioritize operations and safety during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These federal grants will help firefighters across the state enhance public safety and protect themselves as they can continue to serve and perform their essential work,” said Senator Reed.

“Our firefighters put their lives on the line to keep us safe. This federal funding will help provide the tools they need to protect themselves and all Rhode Islanders. Congratulations to the departments for winning these grants,” said Senator Whitehouse.

“Rhode Island firefighters on the front lines of the pandemic are facing daunting challenges and it is more important than ever that departments are equipped with the proper tools to save lives,” said Congressman Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.  “These federal funds will go a long way to making sure our heroes have equipment that keeps them safe when responding to emergencies.”

“Our firefighters and heroes on the frontlines are keeping Rhode Islanders safe during the pandemic,” Cicilline said.  “These grants allow our firefighters to do their essential service, but we need to continue to push for more funding for these heroes. That’s why the House passed the Heroes Act more than 3 months ago, which helps our heroes on the front lines. Senate Republicans need to act today and pass this vital legislation.” 

The following cities and town fire departments will receive the federal fire grants:

CENTRAL FALLS: $209,809.52 for firefighter breathing apparatus.CRANSTON: $97,272.73 for protective gear washers and protective gear dryers.CUMBERLAND: $205,617.00 for fire hose, nozzles, and firefighter training. EAST GREENWICH: $274,885.10 for operations and safety.EAST PROVIDENCE: $691,336.36 for mobile radios and firefighter breathing apparatus.FOSTER (MOOSUP VALLEY FIRE DISTRICT): $3,325.71 for operations and safety through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant COVID-19 Supplemental program (AFG-S) which may be used to purchase PPE.NARRAGANSETT: $106,666.67 for firefighter breathing apparatus.NORTH KINGSTOWN: $208,546.91 for protective gear washers and protective gear dryers.NORTH PROVIDENCE: $390,600.00 for mobile radios, portable radios and mobile repeaters.PROVIDENCE: $921,363.64 for vehicle acquisition and $202,566.36 for operations and safety through AFG-S.  This brings Providence’s total AFG awards for this round of funding to $1,123,930 total.SOUTH KINGSTOWN, UNION FIRE DISTRICT: $2,695.69 for operations and safety through AFG-S which may be used to purchase PPE.SMITHFIELD: $85,779.68 for cardiac monitors and a $45,454.55 regional grant award for 11 fire departments for a training simulator prop.WARWICK: $112,369.09 for operations and safety through AFG-S which may be used to purchase PPE.WESTERN COVENTRY FIRE DISTRICT: $17,142.86 for firefighter training and fire hose.WEST GREENWICH (LAKE MISHNOCK VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY): $11,214.29 for firefighter trainingWEST WARWICK: $71,141.82 for an air compressor – air refill system. WOONSOCKET: $226,922.73 for chest compression devices and fire officer training.

This federal funding will help ease capital improvement costs to cities and local taxpayers by replacing worn out and obsolete equipment with more modern, efficient gear.

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