Baker-Polito Administration Announces $5 Million in Grant Awards for Fire Departments

STOW, MA – The Baker-Polito Administration Wednesday announced $5 million in grant funding awarded to 306 Massachusetts fire departments from the FY22 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program. This program enables fire departments to purchase a variety of equipment that will make firefighters’ jobs safer. This is the second year that funding has been awarded for this purpose as part of a $25 million bond bill filed by the Baker-Polito Administration to support firefighter safety and health in the coming years.

“Our communities and families depend on firefighters in difficult and dangerous moments,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This program is an opportunity to show our deep appreciation for their work by ensuring they have the tools they need to stay safe and healthy.”

“While the last two years have been so difficult for all of us, firefighters and first responders throughout the Commonwealth have courageously continued to serve the public,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are grateful for their efforts and proud to be able to provide them with critical equipment and support.”

Fire departments in Massachusetts were able to apply to this program for 118 different types of eligible equipment, including personal protective clothing, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, assorted hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, fitness equipment, and more. In many cases, the purchase of this equipment will help departments attain compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration or National Fire Protection Association safety standards.

“The toll that occupational cancer has taken on the fire service is unfortunately immense,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy. “We often see and hear about heroic rescues in the face of obvious and overwhelming danger, but the risks firefighters face go well beyond those events. I am thrilled that we can provide so many fire departments with this funding for equipment that will reduce firefighters’ long-term exposure to the cancer-causing materials they encounter every day at work.”

“While many of our firefighters dedicate their entire careers to the fire service, countless others who have full-time jobs in different fields spend their spare time responding to emergencies for on-call and volunteer fire departments across the state,” said Undersecretary of Homeland Security Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe. “They all deserve the best equipment we can get them, and we are so grateful for everything that they do.”

“Best practices for firefighter safety are constantly evolving as technology advances and our understanding of the short- and long-term health impacts of the work improves,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “This program is so important to help fire departments modernize their equipment and get firefighters the protection they need. The long-term health outcomes realized from these grant awards will have a truly immeasurable benefit.”

“The job of the modern firefighter takes countless forms. At any given moment, they could be asked to respond to a fire, a hazardous materials leak, a car accident, or a medical call. Equipping them for safety in each of these situations is a significant financial burden for every department,” said Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills Fire Chief Michael Winn, President of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts. “We are so thankful that funding was made available to help with this challenge, especially at a time when so many departments are facing budget issues due to COVID-19.”

Local departments receiving awards:
Town of Bourne $19,000.00

Brewster Fire/Rescue has been awarded $18,461.40 by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Department of Fire Services through their FY22 Fire Equipment Grant program. This competitive grant award will furnish the department with supplemental capital to purchase mobile radio communication equipment designed to ensure firefighters are afforded robust and effective communication capabilities at structure fires and other emergency events. It will also be used to purchase specialized rescue saws that firefighters use during numerous scenarios including ventilating smoke, heat, and deadly gases from the interior of buildings on fire and cutting and removing debris, construction material, wood, and other fixed objects during emergency life-saving rescue operations of entrapped firefighters or civilians.

The equipment will be utilized at emergency incidents in Brewster and during responses to our regional automatic and mutual aid partner communities. This is Brewster Fire/Rescue’s second grant award through this program which was established by the Commonwealth in FY21.

Brewster Fire/Rescue would like to thank the Governor’s Office, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and the Department of Fire Services for their past and continued support given to the Town of Brewster and their sustained efforts to improve the working conditions and safety of firefighters across the Commonwealth.

The Chatham Fire Department has been awarded $12,957.59 by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Department of Fire Services. This competitive grant process provides the department with supplemental funds for the purchase of critical life safety equipment.

The Chatham Fire Department will utilize these funds to purchase two full ensembles of firefighting protective gear, including pants, boots, jacket, protective hood, helmet, and gloves.

Additionally, the department was approved to purchase three water rescue dry suits and five water rescue life jackets, which will be issued to new members of the department’s water rescue team. This team trains throughout the year for water-based rescue scenarios to support both the United States Coast Guard and the Town of Chatham’s Harbormaster Division.

Finally, the department will utilize these grant funds to purchase four Hydrogen Cyanide gas detectors, which will be placed on each of the three engines and the quint/ladder truck. Hydrogen Cyanide is a toxic byproduct of combustion and is present at most building fires. This piece of equipment is essential to identify one of the numerous threats our firefighters have the potential to face every day.

Thank you to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Department of Fire Services for the past and continued support offered to the Town of Chatham and the efforts these agencies make to provide for safer working conditions for firefighters across the Commonwealth.

COMM Fire District $12,211.81
Town of Dennis $18,994.00
Town of Eastham $15,500.00
Town of Falmouth $21,224.98

The Harwich Fire Department reports that they have received a grand in the amount of $18,304.50. The grand, which is a competitive process, will provide the department with funding to purchase a mask fit test apparatus.

Firefighters are required to have their Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) masks fit tested yearly to meet OSHA standards. This equipment will allow the department to conduct this testing every year in house. All new firefighters must also have a fit test performed prior to reporting to the Massachusetts Fire Academy for recruit training. The purchase of this equipment will complement the masks and regulators purchased with the 2020 grant.

Hyannis Fire District $19,000.00
Town of Orleans $14,379.00
Town of Sandwich $4,396.98
Town of Truro $10,500.00
Town of Wellfleet $7,440.39
West Barnstable Fire District $12,359.00
Town of Yarmouth $19,000.00
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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