NARRAGANSETT, RI – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Jim Langevin announced $218,096 in federal funding to help the Narragansett Fire Department purchase needed equipment and provide water rescue training. The funding is being awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
The Narragansett Fire Department will use the federal funds to upgrade older manual ambulance stretchers with new power-lift stretchers and will create a new marine rescue training program for firefighters. The power lift stretchers, accompanied by power load devices, will improve emergency response efficiency and enhance both patient and firefighter safety. The new equipment will help reduce the frequency of injuries to firefighters, while improving interoperability within the community, particularly during potentially large-scale or mass casualty events.
The Narragansett Fire Department, which recently acquired a 28-foot rescue vessel with the help of a previously awarded federal Port Security grant, will use the training funding under this grant to initiate a technician training program to instruct firefighters in watercraft and surf search and rescue missions. The training will take firefighters through different scenarios to prepare them to mitigate water emergencies and respond to incidents on the water. This training would also be available to other Rhode Island fire departments that are part of the Narragansett Bay Marine Task Force.
“I am pleased to help deliver federal funds to support the outstanding work of the Narragansett Fire Department,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee that oversees FEMA funding. “This is a smart investment in new tools, technology, and training to help our firefighters effectively respond to a range of emergencies. It will benefit not only Narragansett, but enhance public safety in neighboring communities as well. I commend Chief Partington and his team, and I will continue doing everything I can at the federal level to help them improve their emergency response capabilities and protect our communities.”
“Narragansett firefighters work hard to keep residents and visitors safe, especially during the busy summer season,” said Senator Whitehouse. “I’m pleased to congratulate Town Manager Manni and Chief Partington on winning this federal grant for training and new equipment to support those efforts. This is why we fight for these funds.”
"Firefighters in Narragansett and across Rhode Island put their lives on the line every day to protect us,” said Congressman Langevin, a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, which oversees the AFG program. “They deserve to be equipped with the finest tools and training to carry out their duties as safely and effectively as possible. This federal grant will bring the Narragansett Fire Department the resources to continue its excellent service to the community.”
“We are grateful to the Congressional delegation for their efforts to support the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. I, along with other fire chiefs, have met in Washington, DC with the delegation to discuss the importance of this grant program. This funding will provide much-needed equipment to the department and help support training for our marine rescue operations,” said Narragansett Fire Department Chief Scott Partington.
Since 2001, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state have successfully secured nearly $36 million in AFG awards to pay for equipment upgrades, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.