Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin announced last week that more than $772,000 in federal grant funding for fire departments in Warwick and Johnston to upgrade fire safety, training and communications equipment. The Members of Congress supported the towns’ successful grant applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The funding comes from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which is designed to help fire departments and emergency medical service organizations meet their equipment, training, and other needs.
The Warwick Fire Department will receive $692,991 for a new sprinkler and alarm system and a new mobile training facility constructed on a tractor-trailer type chassis. The new facility will allow the department to improve training for firefighters in safety and survival techniques. The Johnston Fire Department will receive $79,776 for 11 new mobile data terminals to help firefighters communicate more effectively when responding to an emergency, especially in areas with poor radio service.
“I am proud to support the firefighters in Warwick, Johnston and around the state who risk their lives to keep our families and neighborhoods safe,” Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for FEMA, said in a statement. “These AFG grants are an important investment in the safety of our firefighters and thereby improve our public safety as well. Our firefighters deserve the best possible resources to do their jobs, and I’m glad to see these federal dollars flowing into Rhode Island where fire districts are putting them to good use upgrading equipment and preparedness.”
“When responding to an emergency, public safety officials need as much information as possible, and these Assistance to Firefighters grants will ensure that the Warwick and Johnston Fire Departments are on the forefront of training and technology,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “There is no greater government responsibility than public safety, and I am thrilled that the AFG program continues to support Rhode Island’s highly-skilled fire departments, thereby making our communities safer.”
In a statement, Mayor Scott Avedisian said, “I am very proud of the outstanding work of our dedicated firefighters who put their lives on the line and respond to a vast array of emergencies, day in and day out. These federal funds will enable the Warwick Fire Department to upgrade sprinkler and alarm systems at our fire stations and create a new mobile training facility designed to enhance firefighter and recruit safety and survival training. Additionally, this portable facility will be made available for regional use by neighboring fire departments. This is the latest in a series of grants that our fire department has received, and I would like to thank our congressional delegation for their continued support of our city.”