WASHINGTON, DC – August 14, 2017 – The Fitchburg Fire Department has been awarded more than $315,000 in federal funding through the Staffing Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
The Fitchburg Fire Department will receive $315,116 to hire two new firefighters for three years. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program are the two main federal programs supporting local fire departments by helping them support staff, buy equipment, provide adequate training, and ensure proper levels of staffing for emergency responders.
"All across Massachusetts, our firefighters are working day in and day out to keep our families and neighborhoods safe." Senator Elizabeth Warren said. "This grant will help support our brave first responders, and ensure the Fitchburg Fire Department has the staff and resources they need to carry out their mission and protect our communities."
"Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day as they bravely respond to emergency calls. This vital federal funding will allow Fitchburg to hire new firefighters and utilize the best tools to more effectively respond to fires and other hazards," said Senator Edward J. Markey. "I commend FEMA's effort to support our first responders who answer the call and applaud our Massachusetts local leaders who helped secure this vital funding."
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas said: “Ensuring our fire departments are fully staffed is critical for the safety of firefighters and the citizens they protect. The Fitchburg Fire Department received these needed federal funds through a competitive grant process, which speaks to both the quality of their application and the Department in general. Given the constraints on state and local budgets, competitive grant funds such as these help to maintain public safety in our communities and provide first responders with access to the resources they need to save lives. Our volunteer and career firefighters sacrifice a great deal to protect our communities and it is our duty to provide them with the equipment, staffing and training they need to keep their departments running safely and efficiently.”
Fitchburg Mayor Steve DiNatale said: “The City of Fitchburg could not be more pleased for receiving the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. Over the past fourteen years, eighteen positions have been cut to our fire department, and this grant will assist the city to become closer in complying with the National Fire Protection Association’s employment standards. Receiving this grant is a testament to FEMA supporting municipalities such as Fitchburg, and provides us the opportunity to offer the best possible first response services to our citizens and safety for our firefighters.”
Fitchburg Fire Chief Kevin Roy said: “The Fitchburg Fire Department, after many years of staffing reductions due to state and local budget cuts, has worked very hard to reduce spending in our department. We have worked very hard to bring in additional revenue through FEMA and SAFER grants, and our EMS program, to protect our citizens and ensure safety of our Firefighters. We would like to thank Congresswoman Tsongas, Senator Warren and Senator Markey for their continued support of the Fire Service here in Fitchburg and especially the FEMA - SAFER grant program. We would also like to thank Mayor Steve DiNatale and the Fitchburg City Council for their assistance in securing these very important grants to make the City a Fitchburg a safer place to live, and doing it in a fiscally responsible way, with this financial support from the federal government.”