August 3, 2023

Reed, Whitehouse & Magaziner Welcome $1.4M in Federal Support for Local Fire Departments

WASHINGTON, DC — In an effort to help local communities and fire departments improve operations and safety, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Seth Magaziner today announced $1,392,552 to help firefighters in Cranston, Lincoln, Newport, Smithfield, Pawtucket, Portsmouth and other communities purchase new equipment and support advanced training programs.

The federal funds are being awarded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.  These federal grants are designed to enhance local fire departments’ abilities to comply with response, equipment, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association.

The following communities will receive AFG grants to enhance the safety and training of firefighters and purchase needed equipment:

  • Cranston will receive $160,156 for operations and new safety gear.
  • Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation/Fire Academy will receive $388,695 for two fire pump training simulators and equipment.
  • Lincoln Fire District will receive $24,095 for firefighter gloves and hoods.
  • Newport Fire Department will receive $671,710 for enhanced paramedic training.
  • Pawtucket Fire Department will receive $24,069 for its code enforcement inspection program.
  • Portsmouth Fire Department will receive $40,238 for its smoke alarm installation project and $38,133 for operations and safety.

Additionally a regional award of $45,454 will go to Smithfield for fire simulator training equipment.  While the equipment will be located in Smithfield, several local fire departments will have access to it to conduct live fire training, including: Central Falls Fire Department; Cumberland Fire Department; Harrisville Fire Department; Lime Rock Fire Department; Lincoln Fire Department; North Smithfield Fire Department; North Providence Fire Department; Oakland-Mapleville Fire Department; Manville Fire Department; and Woonsocket Fire Department.

“Our firefighters and first responders are real lifesavers.  We are grateful for their outstanding service.  These federal grants will provide them with the equipment and training they need to protect people and communities,  It’s a smart investment in the health and safety of our communities,” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, who helped secure $370 million for the AFG program this year.  “I commend all these communities and fire departments for putting together strong applications.  I will continue doing everything I can at the federal level to support our dedicated firefighters and ensure they have the safety and emergency response equipment and capabilities they need.”

“Our firefighters are on the frontlines every day keeping our communities safe,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “This federal funding will help ensure first responders have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs safely.”

“Firefighters put their lives on the line for ours, and we must do our part to keep them safe on the job,” said Representative Seth Magaziner. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in the federal delegation to announce this funding that will provide Rhode Island firefighters with the equipment and training they need to stay safe and prepared.”

In April, Reed and Whitehouse helped the U.S. Senate extended federal programs that support local fire departments across the country.  The Fire Grants and Safety Act reauthorized the AFG program as well as FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, and the United States Fire Administration (USFA).  Together, these programs are utilized by local fire departments to address staffing needs, purchase equipment, develop fire training and education programs, and improve emergency medical services.

Over the last twenty years, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state have received over $121.5 million in AFG and SAFER awards.


Chip Unruh (Reed), (202) 224-4642

Meaghan McCabe (Whitehouse), (202) 224-2921

James Kwon (Magaziner), (202) 951-0315

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921