Reading Fire Department awarded $14,110 state grant to purchase firefighter safety equipment

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) and Reading Fire Chief Gregory Burns joined with the Healey-Driscoll Administration to announce that the Reading Fire Department has been awarded a $14,110.76 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.

According to Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy and State Fire Marshal Jon Davine, a total of $5 million in grant funding is being distributed to 321 fire departments across Massachusetts as reimbursement for the purchase of critical safety gear and equipment. Reading’s grant award will be used to support the fire department’s purchase of portable radio support equipment, firefighter gear and individual SCBA facepieces.

“We are pleased to have been awarded the grant funding,” said Chief Burns. “Our request was for funding to equip four replacement firefighters. We need to equip our new personnel with protective clothing that meets N.F.P.A. 1971 standards and properly fits. Specifically, we requested to purchase 4 structural helmets with shields, 4 SCBA facepieces, 3 structural turnout coats, 3 structural turnout pants and suspenders, 4 leather structural boots, 4 nomex hoods, and 4 leather structural gloves.”

“Reading’s firefighters play a critical role in protecting the public while working under what are often very stressful and hazardous conditions,” said Representative Jones. “These grants fill an essential need by ensuring our first responders have access to the proper turnout gear, tools and equipment to help make their jobs safer and allow them to better serve the public.”

“As the grandson of a firefighter, I understand the vital role Reading’s firefighters play in keeping our community safe while working in dangerous situations,” said Representative Haggerty. “The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grants will provide our first responders with the necessary tools, gear, and equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively, ensuring our community is well-protected.”

“Our brave firefighters risk the health hazards posed by smoke and other fire byproducts to keep us safe. We owe it to our first responders to provide them the equipment they need to stay safe and healthy,” said Senator Lewis. “I’m pleased that this state grant will support the Reading Fire Department and help keep our community and firefighters protected.”

The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grants are part of a five-year, $25 million state bond authorization designed to improve fire safety across the state. This marks the fourth year funding has been awarded to the Commonwealth’s fire departments under this competitive grant program.

“The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grants are an investment in the health and safety of Massachusetts firefighters,” said Davine. “The flexibility of the program is especially valuable because it allows each department to make purchases based on their specific needs and resources. It has become a vital part of the way the Massachusetts fire service prepares for the constantly evolving threats in the world around us.”

The maximum amount of the grants made available to local fire departments under this program is capped based on the size of the population the department serves. Many of the equipment purchases funded through this grant program enable local fire departments to achieve compliance with Occupational Safety Health Administration or National Fire Protection Association safety standards.

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