August 22, 2016

RI Congressional Delegation Announces $385K in Fire & Rescue Funds for Lincoln, Narragansett, and Pawtucket

Pawtucket, RI – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced new federal funding to help fire departments in Lincoln, Narragansett, and Pawtucket purchase new equipment.  The funding is made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).

The Saylesville Fire District will use $59,048 in federal funds to purchase a new cascade air tank filling station to replace an outdated system and ensure it is compliant with current safety standards.  The cascade air system is critical to a firefighter’s respiratory system protection.  The Fire District’s current cascade air system is over thirty years old and is nearing its end of useful life. The new, integrated replacement system has three fill stations with four bottles and will have the capacity to fill at higher pressures, which is required of all new air packs.

The Narragansett Fire Department will use a $220,953 federal grant to further operations and safety training for firefighters and to purchase five new cardiac monitors/defibrillators that are carried on all primary response Engines and Rescues.  Funding will provide NFPA-1041 Fire Instructor training to members of the Narragansett Fire Department, as well as to firefighters or officers throughout the state.  The Narragansett Fire Department will also purchase five state of the art cardiac monitors/defibrillators, which will allow the department to replace their current units that are outdated. Many of Narragansett’s current monitors have been in service far longer than the recommended eight year lifespan of the product. This upgrade will greatly increase the department’s capabilities, reduce repair costs, and increase reliability.

The Pawtucket Fire Department will receive $105,519 in federal funds to purchase three new power stretchers for use in their Emergency Medical Services division. This investment will increase patient and firefighter safety and allow greater efficiency for emergency medical response.

“This new equipment and training will enhance safety and help our firefighters and paramedics save lives.  At a time of constrained budgets, I am pleased we are able to deliver federal funding to better equip our first responders and help them protect our communities,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, who helped make $306 million available for the AFG program in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, (Pub. L. 113-76) and annually hosts fire grant workshops to help fire departments apply for these grants.

“Firefighters are the first on the scene in most emergencies, and they deserve the tools to do their jobs safely and effectively in any situation they face,” said Senator Whitehouse. “These federal grants will provide firefighters in Pawtucket, Narragansett, and Lincoln with equipment and training that will help them better protect their communities.”

“From Narragansett to Lincoln and beyond, Rhode Island Fire Departments are pursuing every possible funding opportunity at their disposal and are going above and beyond to deliver high-quality public safety services in every corner of our state,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “Congratulations to this round of grant award winners. Your work benefits all Rhode Islanders, and our communities are safer because of it.”

“Rhode Island’s Fire Departments deserve the best, and this funding will ensure that our firefighters are equipped to handle a variety of threats to our communities,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “The Assistance to Firefighter Grant program is critical to municipalities upgrading their capabilities without saddling residents with additional taxes.  I know that the safety of firefighters and the communities they serve will be enhanced because of these federal funds.” 

“The Saylesville Fire Department and the taxpayers of Saylesville are fortunate to receive this funding,” said Captain Alan Laird of the Saylesville Fire Department.  “The AFG program continues to be a great help to our organization and we appreciate the strong support the Rhode Island congressional delegation has been of the program and our department.  The funding awarded will allow us to replace our obsolete, 30 year-old air cascade system.  This is a tremendous improvement for the health and safety of our fire firefighters.  In addition, if the department did not receive this grant, our taxpayers would have seen an unfavorable impact on their tax rate, just to replace this piece of equipment.”

“The Assistance to Firefighters grant program is very important to the fire service and we are glad to have been chosen for 2 awards for the 2015 performance year.  Senators Reed and Whitehouse, along with Congressman Langevin have all been very supportive throughout the entire process and remain longtime  advocates of this valuable program.  We could not have achieved this level of success without their help and support of this program.  The Northeast FEMA grant representatives have been an excellent resource throughout the submission and award process.  They have been great to work with and are a true asset to the fire service,” said Narragansett Fire Chief Scott M. Partington.

“The City of Pawtucket, the Pawtucket Fire Department, and Mayor Donald Grebien are very grateful to receive an AFG grant to purchase power stretchers and power loading units.  The new technology will not only help with the health and well-being of our firefighters due to the strenuous activities associated with lifting, loading and unloading patients but also provide our citizens with a smoother more comfortable transition during transport. Special thanks is owed to Rhode Island’s entire federal delegation for all they do to help our state’s first responders,” said Pawtucket Fire Chief William J. Sisson.

Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state successfully secure over $27.3 million in AFG awards to pay for equipment upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921