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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million in Grant Awards for Fire Departments

298 Departments Awarded Funds for Safety Gear
For immediate release:
4/02/2021
  • Department of Fire Services

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million in Grant Awards for Fire Departments

Jennifer Mieth, Public Information Officer

Firefighter on radio wearing helmet gloves and coat

STOWThe Baker-Polito Administration today announced $4 million in grant award funding to 298 fire departments from the FY21 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program. This program will enable fire departments to purchase a variety of equipment that will make firefighters’ jobs safer, including protective firefighting gear, thermal imaging cameras, radios, rescue equipment, and gear washers and dryers. The funding is part of a $25 million bond bill filed by the Baker-Polito Administration to support firefighter health and safety over the next five years.

“In our most difficult moments, firefighters are who we call for help,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “No matter what the situation, they come rushing to provide assistance, often at great personal risk, and this program is an opportunity to ensure they have the tools they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought great challenges to firefighters and first responders, while simultaneously making their work more dangerous,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I am deeply thankful for everything they have done during the last year, and proud that we are delivering a program like this to make firefighters safer.”

Fire departments in Massachusetts were able to apply to this program for 114 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.

“This program represents a comprehensive approach to mitigating modern firefighter health and safety risks,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco. “Firefighters face not only the well-known risks of fire, smoke, and hazardous materials, but also long-term health risks of occupational cancer associated with the exposure to fire by-products, and debilitating physical injuries due to the strenuous nature of their work.”

“Firefighters selflessly put themselves at risk for our safety every day,” said Undersecretary of Homeland Security Jeanne Benincasa Thorpe.  “Whether it’s running into a burning building to help a trapped resident, rushing someone experiencing a medical emergency to the hospital, or cutting a car apart to free a the victim in a collision, firefighters take risks for people they’ve never met every day. Providing this support for equipment is going to make the Commonwealth’s firefighters safer and improve their ability to serve the public.”

“Investing in the short-term and long-term health and safety of firefighters has been a hallmark of the Baker-Polito Administration,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “I am grateful that we are able to continue supporting this initiative and make sure that firefighters not only go home safe at the end of every shift, but also that they maintain their health during and after their careers. This funding couldn’t come a better time either. With the financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought to so many Massachusetts municipalities, this grant funding will mitigate critical budget gaps in many departments.”

“As a direct result of this funding, there will be firefighters who are be able to use thermal imaging cameras to see danger in a burning building before they are in the middle of it, conduct their next ice rescue from the safety of a floating platform, properly remove carcinogens from their turnout gear after it is exposed to smoke, and much more,” said Saugus Fire Chief Michael Newbury, President of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts. “The impact of this funding will be truly immense, and I know each of the 298 departments receiving a portion of it are extremely thankful,” he added.

A complete list of the awards by department can be found here: FY21 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Award List.

 

Equipment Summary

A summary of some of the most commonly funded items through this program can be found below:

Item

Quantity

Boots

301

Coats

335

Cold Water Immersion Suits

101

Combustible/Hazardous Gas Detectors

103

Extrication Tools

68

Gear Dryers

33

Gloves

614

Hand Lights

202

Hand Tools

123

Helmets

228

Hoods

743

Hoses, Nozzles, Fittings, and Adapters

462

Pants

329

Portable (handheld) Radios

176

SCBA Bottles

78

SCBA Facepieces

192

Thermal Imaging Cameras

185

Ventilation Fans

37

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million in Grant Awards for Fire Departments

Department of Fire Services 

The Department of Fire Services helps keep communities safe. We provide firefighter training, public education, fire prevention, code enforcement, licensing, fire investigation, hazardous material response, and emergency response.
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