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.