NEWPORT, R.I. — The Fire Department will receive $24,500 for equipment, supplies and training for the catamaran fireboat it acquired in April with an earlier port security grant, according to a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon by U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and U.S. Reps. David Cicilline and Jim Langevin.
Also announced was a $284,625 grant for the Bristol Fire Department to purchase a similar boat. The funds were distributed from the Port Security Grant Program, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Newport’s boat is named after former Fire Chief William H. Connerton Jr.
“The Port Security Grant will help us complete the outfitting of our new fire rescue boat,” Newport Fire Chief Brian Dugan said in the press release. “The grant will not only provide medical supplies and firefighting equipment, but will also supply our operators with foul weather gear and other safety equipment. In addition, the department will be able to purchase specialty equipment and supplies, such as oil boom and tackle, in order to address potential oil spills in the harbor and bay. I wish to thank captain Donald Gunning for developing the grant proposal, and thank Senator Reed and his staff for all their support in securing the grant.”
Since 2014, fire departments and other entities in Rhode Island have received nearly $1.75 million in Port Security grants.