July 17, 2017

Nearly $1 Million Federal Grant Awarded to Providence for New Fire Truck & Ambulance

New vehicles will help replace aging truck and ambulance and add to road-ready fleet

PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline joined Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza in announcing over $974,000 in federal funding to help the Providence Fire Department purchase two new vehicles to bolster the efficiency of operations that save lives and better serve the community.  The funding is made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).

The Department will use the funds to purchase a new Type-1 ambulance to replace an outdated 2006 Ford F350 ambulance currently in use that has logged over 250,000 miles and is in need of replacement.  Having reached the end of its useful life, the current frontline ambulance will be taken out of service.  Having modern and high-quality ambulances is a critical element of the Department’s operations, with the Department responding to over 29,700 EMS responses per year, providing advanced life support services to citizens prior to their admission to the hospital.  The new ambulance will also have an immediate and positive impact on the community by reducing the time required by the old vehicle for costly repairs.

The Department will also use the funds to upgrade its aging fleet of ladder trucks with the purchase of a new NFPA 1901 compliant 110’ aerial truck with upgrades such as a pre-piped waterway, scene lighting, and power generating capabilities.  The unit will also have safety features such as three-point seatbelts with a warning system, computer-enhanced aerial controls, and occupant protection systems.  The purchase will bolster the safety of the community by replacing outdated trucks and providing a modern, efficient vehicle that complies with nationally recognized safety standards and allows the department to meet response objectives reliably and safely.

“I am pleased to have helped secure federal funding to enable the Providence Fire Department purchase these new, workhorse vehicles.  We rely on our firefighters and they do outstanding work.  It is imperative they have the best vehicles, equipment, and training possible to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, who wrote letters of support for the applications for the truck and ambulance and who annually hosts fire grant workshops to help fire departments apply for federal grants.  “I congratulate Mayor Elorza and the Providence Fire Department on winning this competitive grant.   At a time when fire departments around the state are hamstrung by tight budgets, I will continue doing everything I can to assist them by providing federal funding so they can continue to focus on their lifesaving work.”

“The hardworking men and women of the Providence Fire Department respond to a huge volume of calls every day, making it among the busiest fire departments in the country,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “This significant award will replace two well-worn trucks with state-of-the-art vehicles that our capital city’s first responders can rely on.”

“It is crucial that the brave men and women firefighters who work to keep our capital city and its residents safe have the proper equipment and resources,” said Congressman Langevin, a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “These AFG grants will be used to help purchase a state-of-the-art ambulance and a ladder truck that will help the Providence Fire Department continue to protect and serve its residents in the most effective and efficient way possible. I am thrilled that the Providence Fire Department was awarded these significant federal grants that will help keep our communities safe, and I congratulate Mayor Elorza and his administration for their work supporting our first responders.”

“Our firefighters deserve the best. They play a critical role in protecting the safety and well-being of the people of Rhode Island,” said Congressman Cicilline. “This grant allows the Providence Fire Department to acquire a state-of-the-art vehicle that will make a difference in the lives of the people of our state. This is precisely the kind of investment that we should be making in our cities and towns, and I will continue to support our local firefighters in Washington.”

“We rely on the work of our firefighters and EMS staff to keep our neighborhoods safe,” said Mayor Elorza.  “This grant will better equip our department so that they can continue to provide our residents with the highest quality city services and protect our city.”

With this grant funding, Rhode Island has now received over $2.2 million in AFG funding this year to help eight fire departments throughout the state.  Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state successfully secure over $35 million in AFG awards to pay for equipment upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921