WASHINGTON, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and Congressman Bill Keating today applauded a major federal grant awarded to support the New Bedford Fire Department.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced yesterday that New Bedford will receive a $12,270,158 grant through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. This funding will support 63 firefighter positions in the city. Senator Warren, Senator Markey, and Congressman Keating had previously urged FEMA to approve New Bedford's grant request.


"This major SAFER grant is terrific news for New Bedford. I applaud Mayor Mitchell and Chief Gomes for their efforts to get this grant, which will help keep firefighters on the job protecting our communities,"  said Senator Warren. "Firefighters work tirelessly to keep our families safe, and we must make sure local fire departments have the resources they need to provide critical public safety services."


"This critical funding will ensure New Bedford's firefighters can stay on the job and focus on keeping residents safe and secure,"  said Senator Markey. "I applaud Mayor Mitchell and Rep. Keating for their tireless efforts to secure this grant and for making our first responders a top priority."


"For over a year, New Bedford Firefighters answered the call of duty and served their city and neighboring communities without hesitation, all the while facing the very real possibility of a dramatic force reduction,"  said Congressman Keating. "For this reason, we should all be very thankful for these brave men and women this Thanksgiving. But, today's good news gives us an extra reason to be thankful. The NBFD earned their longawaited $12.2 million SAFER grant, which will allow them to retain their full force. It has been my pleasure to work with NBFD and the City of New Bedford each day to not only ensure receipt of this fundibg, but to make sure that NBFD would be amongst the first fire departments across the country to be awarded. Tonight, their great work is recognized, and 63 heroes will rest easier in New Bedford."


The $12.27 million grant awarded to New Bedford was the full amount requested by the city. The SAFER program is administered by FEMA to help ensure local fire departments have sufficient numbers of trained firefighters on duty.