The West Stafford Fire Department was awarded over $18,000 in federal grants from FEMA. The grants are intended to assist fire departments with purchasing new safety equipment and lifesaving medical devices, and with carrying out necessary training.
STAFFORD — The West Stafford Fire Department has been awarded just over $18,000 in federal grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials announced last week.
The funds come as part of FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, which awarded a total of $887,000 to five fire departments in Connecticut, including Stafford, Chester, Preston, New London, and Norwich.
The grants are intended to assist fire departments with purchasing new safety equipment and lifesaving medical devices, and with carrying out necessary training, according to information from the office of U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney.
The West Stafford Fire Department intends to use their grant of $18,571.42 to purchase a new washer and dryer for the department’s firefighting gear in order to wash them of any potentially harmful residuals from fighting fires, according to Courtney’s office.
Stafford Fire Marshal Mark Morrison said Friday that the new equipment would protect the health of firefighters, especially since many fires contain cancer-causing agents in their smoke.
“It’s going to definitely be helpful for the town, especially with our tight budget,” Morrison said, adding, “We need to keep our firefighters healthy, keep them from getting cancer.”
“This new round of federal AFG grants represents another important source of support for our firefighters and fire stations,” said Courtney, D-2nd District.
Courtney added, “We’ve got to support our first responders right now, and the Assistance to Firefighters grant program is a versatile tool that does that by helping firefighters purchase everything from essential lifesaving equipment to important training … it’s great to see the funding coming home to support eastern Connecticut.”