12/19/2011 — 

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today announced $16,200 in federal funding for the West Warwick Fire Department to purchase two new thermal imaging cameras.   The devices can detect body heat and hot spots in burning buildings, allowing firefighters to quickly reach victims and put out potentially deadly fires.

“Our firefighters do a great job and it is critical that they have the resources and technology they need to protect the public.  These new thermal imaging cameras can help locate people in burning homes and reduce risk to firefighters by pinpointing the source of the fire,” said Reed.

“Our firefighters are often taking risks to protect us and keep our families and neighborhoods safe,” said Senator Whitehouse. “These grants will help provide critical equipment upgrades for the West Warwick Fire Department, giving them the tools they need to effectively respond to emergencies.”

“We are grateful to receive this federal funding for two new thermal imaging cameras.  This money will help keep firefighters equipped to the standards they should be so they can focus on keeping communities safe,” said Chief Joseph Baris, Chief of the West Warwick Fire Department.

Earlier this year, Senators Reed and Whitehouse wrote the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in support of West Warwick’s application to purchase the cameras using an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).  Senators Reed and Whitehouse also supported legislation that provided $380 million in grants to fire departments and EMS organizations unaffiliated with hospitals in fiscal year 2011.  The West Warwick Fire department was selected for this grant through a competitive peer review process based on the need to enhance response capabilities and protect communities from fire-related hazards. 

This award is part of the first round of the fiscal year 2011 AFG grants.  The $16,200 federal grant will be matched by $1,800 from the City of West Warwick for a total of $18,000.