Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

Warwick Post: Congressional Delegation Wins $633K for new WFD Rescue

By Rob Borkowski

WARWICK, RI  — Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced  the Warwick Fire Department will receive a $633,789 grant for a new rescue truck, part of $1,113,758 in federal funding awarded to the city, Little Compton, North Kingstown, and Woonsocket.

On Thursday, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced the grants for Warwick’s new truck and to help North Kingstown, Little Compton, and Woonsocket fire departments upgrade essential equipment.

The federal funds were awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, according to an announcement from Sen. Jack Reed’s office.  AFG grants are designed to supply critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to protect local communities.  Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation helped include a total of $350 million for AFG firefighter equipment grants in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations law.

The WFD will purchase a new, tandem-axle heavy duty rescue vehicle that will replace a dated, 26-year-old medium duty model that responded to over 1,600 incidents in 2016 alone.  The new heavy duty vehicle will help firefighters with extrications, large vehicle stabilization, Advanced Life Support (ALS) medical response, surface and shoreline water rescue, rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and structural firefighting.

The North Kingstown Fire Department will use its $268,605 grant to replace its outdated Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) currently in use by firefighters.  The purchase includes new SCBA units, SCBA bottles, and face pieces.  The equipment will be used by firefighters during emergency response situations to ensure safe breathing amid fires and other situations involving toxic air quality.

The Little Compton Fire Department is receiving a regional $211,364 grant alongside the Woonsocket Fire Department to purchase new power cots, which are battery operated stretchers capable of lifting very heavy patients, incorporated with a hydraulic lift system that loads/unloads the power cot from the ambulance.  The goal of the purchase is to reduce injuries to the department’s firefighter/EMTs, increase the safety of patients by decreasing cot drop incidents, and enhance the department’s operability throughout the region.

“It is critical that our firefighters possess quality tools that are suitable to meet the grueling demands of their profession,” said Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “These highly competitive federal grants will help protect the health and safety of our first responders and the communities they serve.”

“I am very grateful to Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin for their hard work to secure us the funding for this very necessary apparatus,” said Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon.  “The safety and well-being of all who live and work in our community and who travel through Warwick each year is of paramount importance to me and our public safety officials.  This heavy-duty rescue vehicle will further ensure that we are able to respond to any crisis quickly and effectively. We are very fortunate to have a Congressional delegation that advocates so strongly for Rhode Island’s emergency responders and work tirelessly for our communities. I look forward to their continued support in the future for similar efforts to assure the ongoing safety of T.F. Green International Airport’s travelers and our community overall. ”

“Our emergency responders deserve access to the best equipment possible so they can do their jobs safely and effectively. This funding will not only benefit our firefighters, but all Rhode Islanders,”  said Cicilline.

“These federal funds will help enhance public safety, improve emergency response capabilities, and provide our firefighters with the resources and equipment they need,” said Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee that oversees FEMA funding.  “I am grateful to our firefighters for the life-saving work they do and I will continue working hard at the federal level to support them and help them get the job done safely and effectively.”

“These grants will help equip our first responders with cutting-edge gear to do their job safely and effectively,” said Whitehouse.  “We’re grateful for everything they do to keep our communities safe.”

WPRI: Five RI fire departments to split $3.8M federal grant

WPRI: Five RI fire departments to split $3.8M federal grant

By Anita Baffoni

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Cumberland, Saylesville, Smithfield, West Warwick, and Woonsocket Fire Departments will be the beneficiaries of a $3.8 million federal grant, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation announced Friday.  

The grant is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) SAFER Grant and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) programs.

The grant will go toward the hiring of 28 new firefighters and safety equipment among the five fire departments.

  • Cumberland Fire Department will use its $303,879 SAFER grant to hire two new firefighters
  • Saylesville Fire Department will use its $143,790 SAFER grant to hire one new firefighter
  • Smithfield Fire Department will use its $1,886,122 SAFER grant to hire 13 new firefighters
  • Woonsocket Fire Department will use its $1,535,130 SAFER grant to hire 12 new firefighters
  • West Warwick Fire Department will use its $6,819 AFG grant to purchase a thermal imaging camera

“These federal funds will help ensure fire departments are well-staffed and well-equipped,” U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said. “Adding these additional firefighters will improve the level of service and public safety,”

“Making sure our fire departments are equipped with enough personnel and the proper equipment is vital to the protection of our communities,” Congressman Jim Langevin added.

Since 2001, more than $38 million in AFG grants have been awarded to Rhode Island fire departments and nearly $43 million in SAFER grants since 2005, according to the delegation.

Foreign Affairs: RI Fire Departments Receive $107K to Purchase Gear & Improve Safety

Foreign Affairs: RI Fire Departments Receive $107K to Purchase Gear & Improve Safety

CENTRAL FALLS, RI – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline announced $106,668 in federal funding to help the Central Falls Fire Department, Kingston Fire Department, and Albion Fire District purchase needed equipment and gear to help them better serve their communities.  The funding is being awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

The Central Falls Fire Department will use $59,048 to purchase a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) washer/extractor dryer, which the department currently lacks.  The equipment will help the department ensure both efficient cleaning of essential gear and the swift and effective returning of gear to service.  The department will also use the funds to replace its aging self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air compressor refill system.

The Kington Fire Department will receive $34,286 to help purchase gear for firefighters currently sharing or wearing spare sets of uniforms, air masks, hoods, gloves, and other items.  The Department is seeking the new items as a result of increased recruitment and retention success among its ranks, many of whom are students at the University of Rhode Island.

The Albion Fire District in Lincoln will receive $13,334 for a protective gear washing machine to deep-clean gear and protect firefighters from hazardous carcinogens, chemicals, biological agents, and particulate matter.

“These federal funds will support our firefighters and improve public safety.  I was pleased to work closely with fire departments and local leaders in Central Falls, Kingston, and Albion to help deliver these funds,” 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.  “I will continue doing everything I can at the federal level to help our firefighters protect our communities and improve emergency response capabilities.”

“I congratulate the fire departments in Central Falls, Lincoln, and South Kingstown that won federal grants to purchase new equipment,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “Firefighters deserve the very best tools available to carry out the job of keeping the people of Rhode Island safe.”

“It is imperative that we provide the most up-to-date equipment necessary to keep our firefighters safe as they respond to emergency calls throughout our communities,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “I congratulate each of the departments for winning these highly-competitive federal grants, which will help protect the health and safety of our brave first responders.”

“This critical funding will provide incredibly valuable resources for our first responders,” said Congressman Cicilline, who worked directly with Central Falls and Lincoln to secure this new funding.  “Our first responders should always have access to the best equipment available so they can do their jobs safely and effectively.”

The support offered to the Central Falls Fire Department by Senator Reed and the other members of our Congressional Delegation is invaluable,” said Chief Robert Bradley of the Central Falls Fire Department.  “The process for the Assistance to Fire Fighter Grants has become more and more competitive each year and the support and guidance received has made an immeasurable difference. Their expertise has shone through and has become increasingly evident as “Lil Rhody” continues being awarded their grant requests.”

“We appreciate the efforts of Senator Reed and Congressman Langevin for their ongoing support of the Fire Service,” said Chief Nathan Barrington of the Kingston Fire Department.  “The grant provided will dovetail nicely with the Safer Grant we received for recruitment and retention.  Recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters is a critical need.  As evidenced by the unfortunate fire in Richmond this past Sunday the role of the volunteer fire departments is critical.  The large bulk of the responding departments were volunteer.  Kingston Fire provided over 250 volunteer man hours combating this blaze and we were just one example of the over 20 departments that responded.”

“This new washer and dryer system is a welcome addition for our department that will help protect our firefighters from toxic and dangerous carcinogens and cancer-causing agents,” said Chief Richard Andrews of the Albion Fire District.  “We’re grateful to receive these funds and we look forward to continuing our work in the community while taking the necessary precautions to perform our job safely and effectively.”

Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state have successfully secured over $36 million in AFG awards to pay for equipment upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.