Providence Fire Department Nets Nearly $1M Federal Grant
In an effort to help the Providence Fire Department enhance training and safety, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today joined with Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré to announce $993,309 in federal funding for the Providence Fire Department through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
The Department will use the funding to provide additional training to 173 officers in three different National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) courses. These officers will be trained by certified instructors at the Rhode Island State Fire Training Academy in three Pro-Board classes. This NFPA training will allow the Department to bring all department officers up to the current standard, allowing them to professionally train and operate with their firefighters.
The funding will also allow for the acquisition of fitness equipment and provide resources to re-certify fitness trainers to expand the Department’s Peer Fitness Training Program.
“Our firefighters do so much to enhance public safety. They put their lives on the line and it is our duty as legislators to ensure they have the tools, training, and resources to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee that oversees FEMA funding and helped include $350 million in competitive AFG funding for first responder organizations across the country in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations law. “This federal grant will help ensure that Providence firefighters are ready to respond to any call their physically-demanding profession requires them to.”
“Congratulations to Mayor Elorza and the Providence Fire Department on securing nearly $1 million in federal funding,” said Senator Whitehouse. “This investment will provide new training and wellness opportunities for the firefighters who serve Rhode Island’s busiest fire department.”
“This federal grant will provide resources for important training programs to ensure our firefighters are prepared for the various hazards they routinely face on the job,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “I congratulate Mayor Elorza and Commissioner Paré and his department for securing this funding, which will support their longstanding tradition of providing excellent service to the residents of Providence.”
“Providence Fire Fighters put their lives on the line every day to protect Rhode Islanders. Our brave first responders deserve access to the best equipment and training available to them so that they can do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Congressman Cicilline. “I’m proud to have advocated directly to FEMA to help secure this funding and will continue to fight for these federal resources to be brought back to our state.”
“The Providence Fire Department has long endeavored to maintain the highest level of professional training and up to date certifications for its Officers and Firefighters,” said Commissioner Paré. “We are grateful for this much needed federal funding through the AFG grant, which will allow our firefighters the resources necessary in order to revamp our peer fitness program, working towards the prevention of injuries to our members while on duty and also to improve overall firefighter health, wellness, fitness, safety and job performance.”
Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state have successfully secured over $40 million in AFG awards to pay for equipment upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.
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