EXETER, RI:  U.S. Senator Jack Reed today joined with Mark Pare, the director of the Rhode Island State Fire Academy, public safety officials, and distinguished guests to dedicate a new $350,000 fire engine that will help train the state’s next generation of firefighters.  The new, state-of-the-art E-ONE Custom Pumper will replace the Academy’s old fire truck, which was a 1982 model.

Reed and Pare were joined at the event by Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety; Fire Marshal John Chartier; and David Parr, a FEMA Regional Fire Program Specialist.

Located near the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Route 2, the Rhode Island Fire Academy is run through the Office of the State Fire Marshal.  The Academy provides firefighters with basic training and specialized courses ranging from arson detection to hazardous materials to rope rescue and more.

“The technology and training that goes on here is critical to public safety,” stated Senator Reed.  “This new truck will help ensure that the Rhode Island Fire Academy has the right equipment to fulfill its training needs.  I commend the great work that Director Pare, Colonel O’Donnell, Fire Marshall Chartier, their teams, and all of our firefighters do to keep our communities safe.  I will continue working hard to provide federal assistance to help staff and equip our fire departments throughout Rhode Island, and ensure they have the equipment they need to be effective.”

A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed helped to secure funding for the new engine through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which was designed to help fire departments and emergency medical service organizations meet their equipment, training, and other needs.  The new truck cost a total of $350,000 with the federal AFG award paying for 85 percent and the state providing a required 15% match ($52,500).

“First, I would like to thank Senator Reed for his support. Without this federal grant, we would be unable to purchase this equipment you see today,” said Director Pare.  “This new and state-of-the-art fire engine will train Rhode Island firefighters for many years to come.  It will be a vital element in the overall training and education of our firefighters.”

The truck was manufactured by E-ONE in Ocala, Florida.

- end -