WASHINGTON, DC In an effort to help fire investigators accurately determine the cause of more fires and improve fire safety training throughout the state, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is awarding the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal new federal funds for training and equipment. The State Fire Marshal's office will receive $133,818 in federal funding from the fiscal year 2006 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which Reed supported. This money will be used to purchase equipment to aid with fire investigations and inspections, including a camera and new computers. It will also be used to provide fire safety training and demonstrations in Rhode Island schools and for the state's 80 fire departments and volunteer fire departments. "The Rhode Island State Fire Marshal provides all of Rhode Island's fire districts with the training and services they need to keep our citizens safe," Reed stated. "This federal funding will allow the State Fire Marshal's office to purchase new equipment that will aid in their fire investigations. It will also help ensure that our firefighters have the best training and equipment available so that they are prepared and protected when that alarm bell rings." Rhode Island Police Lieutenant John Blessing who is currently running the day-to-day operations for the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal stated, "We feel very fortunate to receive this federal grant. It will provide the State Fire Marshal with improved fire safety and resources for investigation, inspection, and training programs." The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments and emergency responders, enhancing their ability to respond to emergencies. This program seeks to support local departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel. These awards will be used to increase the effectiveness of firefighting operations, fund fire fighter health and safety programs, acquire new fire apparatus, enhance EMS programs, and conduct fire prevention and safety programs. Each February, Reed hosts his annual workshop to assist Rhode Island fire departments that are interested in applying for the grants. Communities across Rhode Island have won awards from the federal program since Reed began his workshops.