September 26, 2023

RI Delegation Delivers $459k for Local Firefighters

East Greenwich, Harrisville, and Hope Valley firefighters awarded federal funds to enhance safety & bolster emergency response

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to ensure Rhode Island firefighters have the tools they need to efficiently and effectively respond to emergencies and to stay safe while protecting and serving their communities, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Seth Magaziner today announced $459,475 in federal funding for East Greenwich Fire Department, Harrisville Fire District, and Hope Valley Fire District to purchase new equipment.

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 of firefighters and purchase needed equipment:

  • East Greenwich Fire Department will receive $167,464 for the purchase of interoperable P25 radios that will replace obsolete, unrepairable equipment and assist the department by providing reliable communications during local and mutual aid incidents.
  • Harrisville Fire District will receive $271,260 to purchase 30 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA); 1 new RIT Pack, which supply emergency air reserves; and 10 additional facepieces. These upgrades will enable the district to outfit all members with their own fitted masks and will allow for the retirement of noncompliant SCBAs, nearly half of which are more than 10 years old.
  • Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire District will receive $20,750 for a new hose and nozzles on the district’s fire apparatus which will allow firefighters to respond to emergencies as a full-engine company as opposed to a brush truck. These equipment upgrades are necessitated by new residential developments in the jurisdiction of Station 3.

“Every time a call comes in, our firefighters risk their lives to protect their community. They deserve the best equipment available that ensures they are able to respond to a range of emergencies quickly and safely,” said Senator Reed. “I am pleased that we were able to secure these much needed upgrades for East Greenwich, Harrisville, and Hope Valley.”

“The firefighters in East Greenwich, Harrisville and Hope Valley serve on the frontlines and protect Rhode Islanders each and every day,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “I am pleased to help secure this federal funding to ensure our first responders have the updated equipment needed to do their jobs safely and effectively.”

“Firefighters put their lives on the line when responding to emergencies, and they deserve nothing but the best equipment to keep them safe on the job,” said Rep. Seth Magaziner. “This federal funding will ensure firefighters in East Greenwich, Harrisville, and Hope Valley are equipped with the tools they need to protect themselves and their communities.”

This $459,475 in federal funding for local firefighters combines with other awards from earlier this year for a total of nearly $4.3 million across 14 federal grants.

Over the last twenty years, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state have received over $145 million in AFG and Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) awards.

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

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

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

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