RI Delegation Delivers $2.7 Million to Support Local Fire Departments
Cranston, Middletown and Providence get AFG grants to purchase vehicles and communications equipment to enhance public safety
WASHINGTON, DC -- In an effort to help local fire departments improve operations and safety, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced $2,713,266 to help the fire departments in Cranston, Middletown, and Providence purchase new trucks and equipment.
The federal funds are being awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. These federal grants are designed to enhance local fire departments’ abilities to comply with response, equipment, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association.
Cranston Fire Department: $1,000,000 in AFG for a new aerial ladder truck.
Middletown Fire Department: $383,810 for state-of-the-art communications equipment, including new radios – base, portable, and mobile repeaters.
Providence Fire Department: $1,089,416 for firefighter training and specialized washer and dryer machines to clean carcinogens and chemicals from firefighter turnout gear. Providence is also receiving a separate $240,040 AFG award to purchase a new state-of-the-art ambulance.
“When there is an accident or emergency, our firefighters and first responders can mean the difference between life and death for the people who need their services. These federal funds will help purchase vehicles and communications equipment to ensure our firefighters are well equipped,” said Senator Reed. “I commend all these communities and fire departments for putting together strong applications. I will continue doing everything I can at the federal level to help our dedicated firefighters protect our communities and improve emergency response capabilities.”
“Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day for Rhode Islanders, and they deserve the very best tools to their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Whitehouse. “Congratulations to the Providence, Cranston, and Middletown Fire Departments on winning these federal funds to protect the public’s safety.”
“Every day, Rhode Island’s firefighters put themselves at risk to protect our communities,” said Congressman Langevin. “I’m proud to deliver the funding to ensure that the Cranston, Middletown, and Providence Fire Departments have the personnel, training, and equipment that they need to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.”
“Our neighbors too often see firefighters and first responders on the worst days of their lives, but these heroes’ dedication to service and our community help keep those bad days from becoming catastrophic,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Each year, I work with my colleagues to ensure we are doing our part in Congress to help our local fire departments meet community needs through grant programs like AFG. These federal funds can and do save lives, and I will continue to work to make sure our firefighters are receiving the equipment, resources, and training they need to keep themselves and the public safe.”
“It is critical that our firefighters have access to modern equipment, training and tools that help them to do their life-saving work effectively,” said Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. “I thank our federal delegation for their steadfast support of the members of the Providence Fire Department.”
Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins stated: “Funding for this apparatus will help ensure that the women and men of Cranston’s fire department continue to be provided with the finest fire safety equipment as possible. With a new, state of the art ladder truck, the safety and protection of our residents will be enhanced. Our superb Fire Chief Jim Warren worked diligently and intelligently to articulate the needs for this vehicle. I am grateful for his efforts along with those advocated by Senator Jack Reed and his staff to secure this much appreciated funding.”
“Over the years, our Congressional delegation has been extremely supportive of the Town of Middletown and our emergency service providers,” said Middletown’s Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown. “This latest grant will help our firefighters to do their job better and communicate with our neighboring communities, which is so important when minutes count.”
Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation helped include a total of $720 million for AFG firefighter equipment grants ($360 million) and for SAFER firefighter hiring and retention grants ($360 million) in the 2022 Appropriations law.
Over the last twenty years, Rhode Island fire departments and other first responders across the state have received over $120 million in AFG and SAFER awards.