BOSTON – The Reading Fire Department has been awarded a $2,496 state grant to purchase new safety gear for its firefighters.
Reading is one of 144 communities to be awarded funding through the Firefighter Turnout Gear Grant program.
The grants were announced by the Baker-Polito Administration on December 10, and will be used to purchase approximately 3,000 hoods and 3,000 pairs of gloves for structural firefighting activities across the state.
“Firefighters are constantly exposed to carcinogens and other on-the-job hazards that place them at an increased risk for cancer and other serious health issues,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “This grant money will allow the Reading Fire Department to secure critical protective gear to help enhance the safety of our local firefighters.”
“Making sure our public safety officials have the necessary resources is a critical component of keeping our community safe,” said Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn). “This nearly $2,500 grant will ensure the Reading Fire Department is properly equipped to meet the daily challenges they face to keep the town and its residents safe.”
“Over the past years, our fire departments have become all too familiar with the health hazards posed by smoke and other fire byproducts, and we owe it to our first responders to get them the equipment they need to stay healthy and safe,” said Senator Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester). “This grant award will have a considerable impact for the Reading Fire Department and help our community keep our firefighters safe.”
The Firefighter Turnout Gear Grant program was created as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 state budget, and is administered through the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services within the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. A total of $500,000 in grants were awarded to fire departments across the Commonwealth under this program. “Replacing old and damaged turnout gear is a financial challenge for most every department in the Commonwealth” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “These grant awards will ensure that a significant number of firefighters have access to hoods and gloves that will effectively protect them from exposure to dangerous contaminants, and that is one of the best things we can do for them to reduce the risk of a future cancer diagnosis.” d0 L