October 2, 2019

Providence Fire Department Awarded $750k Federal Grant to Buy New Heavy Rescue Truck

PROVIDENCE, RI — Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline and Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza announced $750,000 in federal funding to help the Providence Fire Department purchase a new heavy rescue fire truck to enhance the department’s existing fleet.  Heavy rescue trucks are designed to respond to major accidents, structure fires, specialized rescues, and hazardous materials calls.  The Providence Fire Department’s heavy rescue fleet responds to over 1,700 incidents annually.  These runs include vehicle extrication, entanglement, water rescue, hazardous materials, rope rescue, water rescue, confined space, trench and structural collapse incidents, and all building fires.

The Providence Fire Department will upgrade its heavy rescue fleet by acquiring a tandem-axle heavy duty rescue vehicle with a walk through cab and enhanced storage and capacity.  The new truck will become the primary frontline heavy rescue vehicle, allowing a 2004 model to move to a reserve support role for regional responses, and removing a 38-year-old medium duty model from the fleet.  The receipt of this award will help ensure that the Providence Fire Department is able to continue to fulfill its mission of providing for the protection of human life and property from fire and other disasters, either natural or man-made, through provision of emergency medical services and suppression of fire, fire safety education, and the development and enforcement of fire codes.

The funding is made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).

“I am pleased to deliver federal funds to help the Providence Fire Department upgrade their fleet of heavy rescue trucks.  Replacing the department’s aging heavy rescue truck with a more modern apparatus will enhance public safety and help our dedicated firefighters do their jobs effectively and efficiently,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, who wrote a letter to FEMA in support of the application and who annually hosts fire grant workshops to help fire departments apply for federal grants. “Our firefighters do outstanding work. It is essential that they have the best vehicles, equipment, and training possible to do their jobs safely and effectively.  I congratulate Mayor Elorza, Commissioner Paré and their team, and I will continue doing everything I can to provide the federal support they need.”

“Congratulations to Mayor Elorza and Commissioner Paré on securing federal funding to purchase a new heavy rescue fire truck,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “This addition to the City’s fleet will help Providence firefighters execute some of the Department’s most difficult operations.”

“This federal grant will allow the Providence Fire Department to add a much-needed rescue vehicle to its fleet,” said Congressman Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees FEMA. “I commend Mayor Elorza, Commissioner Paré, and the Providence Fire Department for winning this highly competitive award. I was proud to support Providence’s application, and I will continue to fight for increased federal investments to support Rhode Island’s brave first responders.”

“Rhode Island’s firefighters put their lines on the line in service to others when they show up to work every day. The very least we can do is ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs as safely as possible,” Congressman Cicilline said. “I’ve made it a top priority to ensure that valuable federal investments in our state’s firefighters reflect the dedication and sacrifice that makes them truly the best in the nation. I’m proud to work alongside the federal delegation and Mayor Elorza to secure this funding.”

This is the second major AFG grant Providence has won in the last two years.  In 2017, Providence was awarded over $974,000 in federal funding to help the Providence Fire Department purchase two new vehicles: a Type-1 ambulance and a 100’ rear mount ladder truck.  Both those vehicles are now in service.

“We’re investing in the latest firefighting equipment because our Providence Fire Department needs to be prepared for any emergency situation they face,” said Mayor Elorza. “I’m incredibly thankful to our entire congressional delegation for prioritizing the safety of Providence communities and continuously championing our department. The addition of a new heavy rescue truck to our fleet will certainly help save lives.”

“Each and every day the men and women of the Providence Fire Department work tirelessly to serve and protect the citizens of our City,” said Commissioner Paré.  “I thank our congressional delegation for their continued support and for the much needed federal funding through FEMA’s AFG grant to purchase this rescue, updating our fleet and allowing us to modernize our current resources and provide the best possible services in emergency situations.”

This year, Rhode Island was awarded a total of 21 grants through the AFG program and the Staffing for Adequate & Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, totaling over $9.1 million.



Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921