January 23, 2012

$876,000 Fire Safety Grants Awarded to North Kingstown and Woonsocket

Washington, DC – In an effort to enhance public safety and help fire departments purchase new equipment and provide necessary training to firefighters and paramedics, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced more than $876,000 in federal grants for the North Kingstown and Woonsocket Fire Departments.
The North Kingstown Fire Department will receive $577,631 to upgrade their mobile and base station communications equipment and allow for communications interoperability through the State-wide 800 MHz radio system.  The Woonsocket Fire Department will receive $299,250 to train firefighter and paramedics to more effectively respond to emergency situations.
These competitive federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) were made available through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to train firefighters and paramedics and upgrade communications equipment.
“At a time when state and local governments are facing significant budget difficulties, these federal grants enhance public safety by ensuring our firefighters and first responders are properly equipped and trained,” said Reed.
“Our firefighters are often taking risks to protect us and keep our families and neighborhoods safe,” said Senator Whitehouse. “These grants will help provide critical equipment upgrades and necessary training to our fire departments, giving them the tools they need to effectively respond to emergencies.”
“Our first responders have made an extraordinary commitment to serving their communities,” said Langevin. “We owe them not only our gratitude, but also the tangible support they need to carry out their missions, including through efficient communication systems and superior training.”
“We have a responsibility to ensure that the first responders who risk their lives every day to protect us have the resources to do their jobs effectively and safely, and these funds will help ensure that our state’s emergency personnel have the tools they need to continue to serve our communities,” said Cicilline.
The AFG program awards grants through the DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel.  Strengthening the resources of local fire departments and emergency responders helps communities meet the challenges of fire related hazards.

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