Brewster, Harwich and Sandwich FDs receive federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)

– From Brewster Fire: Brewster Fire/Rescue has been awarded two Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) in the amount of $236,799.00. The first grant is a Fire Prevention grant in the amount of $37,275.00 that will allow the department to purchase a mobile fire safety education trailer to be used to support and improve our efforts to bring dynamic and valuable fire and life safety education training to local and regional schools, assisted living facilities, the local Council-on-Aging, senior housing complexes, and various community events throughout the year. It will also be used to sustain our new innovative “Visit the Neighborhoods” fire and life safety program that we will launch in 2019. Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Herrmann who is one of our certified educators assisted in developing and writing this grant application.

The second award in the amount of $199,524.00 is an Operations and Safety grant that will allow the department to purchase and equip our three ambulances with new stretchers and power loading devices (see photo). On average our personnel respond to over 2200 annual emergency medical runs resulting in approximately 1700 transports. During these transports stretchers are lifted and lowered an average of seven times producing 11,900 events of this type during which our firefighters can be exposed to potential career ending injuries. Once purchased and installed the state-of-the-art power stretchers and loading devices will significantly reduce the potential for staff injuries and notably improve patient safety while strengthening the level of emergency medical services we provide the community.

Since 2010 the Brewster Fire Department has received approximately 1.2 million dollars in highly competitive FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants to fund the purchase of equipment including portable and mobile radios, pagers, personal protective equipment, firefighter safety equipment, stretchers, and stretcher loading devices. A portion of these monies also funded the wages and benefits for two new firefighter/paramedics for a two year period.  The Brewster Fire Department pledges to continue our proactive efforts to search for and find innovative grant programs and opportunities designed to reduce the level of financial responsibility placed on our local residents and property owners by our organization.

HARWICH – From Harwich Fire: Harwich Fire Department received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $70,866. Grant award will allow the department to upgrade nozzles, valves and other equipment associated with firefighting; plus provide valuable funding for training firefighters on the new equipment.

The Harwich Fire Department received notification today from the Federal Emergency Management Agencies Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program that our grant program had been accepted.

The award memo stated, “The purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters Program is to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.

After careful consideration, FEMA has determined that the recipient’s project or projects submitted as part of the recipient’s application, and detailed in the project narrative as well as the request details section of the application – including budget information – was consistent with the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program’s purpose and worthy of award.”

The FEMA website describes the program as follows, “The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.”

This is the sixth award for the Harwich Fire Department since the program began, totaling more than $500,000 in equipment and training money.

The funding of this grant will allow the department to replace all off its nozzles and valves, purchase portable master stream equipment, replace the department’s ladder pipe and all of the hydrant and intake valves. “By completing this through a grant program there is minimal impact to the taxpayer and gives the department the ability to complete the project all at once, standardizing the department’s operations.” said Chief Norman Clarke Jr. Chief Clarke went on to thank Congressman Keating, Senator Warren and Senator Markey for the information and support their offices provided throughout this process.

As part of the program, FEMA provides training and guidance through the Regional Grant Offices. Each year the Department works closely with David L. Parr, our Regional Fire Program Specialist for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – DHS / FEMA – Region 1 to ensure we meet the requirements of the program. Mr. Parr’s assistance is invaluable in both the application process and subsequent award.

From Congressman Keating: “Having worked with the Harwich Fire Department, it is no surprise they were awarded this grant,” said Congressman Keating. “They are dedicated professionals with a great understanding of what they need to support the town. Assistance to Firefighter Grants help our first responders communicate, coordinate, and confront the emergencies that unfortunately face our communities every day.  They in particular provide critical support for our smaller fire departments.  I congratulate Chief Clarke, Deputy Chief LeBlanc, and the entire department on this grant and their continued good work.”

SANDWICH – From FEMA: The Sandwich MA. Fire Department will receive $ 80,755 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG). The grant will be used to purchase new firefighting hose and nozzles.

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

This grant is funded through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. Eligible applicants include local fire departments, fire districts, nonaffiliated EMS organizations, tribal fire departments and State Fire Training Academies. The grant applications are submitted from each agency directly to FEMA, where the applications are reviewed and scored by fire service personnel from throughout the nation.

FEMA obligates funding for this project directly to the recipient agencies. It is the recipient agency’s responsibility to manage their grant award within federal guidelines with technical assistance and monitoring provided by FEMA Fire Program Specialists.

Additional information about FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program(s) may be found at
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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