Mass. awards $5M in equipment grants to 306 fire departments

Nearly every fire department in the Commonwealth was awarded a grant to purchase equipment ranging from coats and helmets to TICs and hoses


Jeanette DeForge
masslive.com

BOSTON — Nearly every fire department in the Commonwealth has been awarded a grant to purchase equipment ranging from coats and helmets to thermal imaging cameras and hoses.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced on Wednesday a total of $5 million in Firefighter Safety Equipment grants has been awarded to 306 fire departments across the commonwealth.

Holyoke Fire Capt. Kevin Cavagnac also thanked state officials for the $23,063 grant the department was awarded.
Holyoke Fire Capt. Kevin Cavagnac also thanked state officials for the $23,063 grant the department was awarded. (Photo/Holyoke Fire Department)

All departments were invited to apply for money to purchase 118 different types of eligible equipment. The items that were most funded were 1,033 hoses, nozzles, fittings and adapters, followed by 688 pairs of boots and 662 pairs of gloves, officials said.

“Best practices for firefighter safety are constantly evolving as technology advances and our understanding of the short- and long-term health impacts of the work improves,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “This program is so important to help fire departments modernize their equipment and get firefighters the protection they need. The long-term health outcomes realized from these grant awards will have a truly immeasurable benefit.”

In some cases the grants will be used to help departments meet federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration or National Fire Protection Association safety standards, officials said.

Springfield Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi and Mayor Domenic J. Sarno thanked the governor’s office and state fire marshal for the $41,532 which will allow them to purchase life-saving equipment for firefighters.

“Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the brave and dedicated team at SFD continue to protect and serve our residents and businesses. This funding will help to keep our firefighters equipped so that we can continue to save lives and property,” Calvi said.

Holyoke Fire Capt. Kevin Cavagnac also thanked state officials for the $23,063 grant the department was awarded. The money will be used to buy a commercial-grade washing machine that is used to decontaminate turnout gear, six thermal imaging cameras and six meters that detect carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and other dangerous gasses.

Some of the other awards to local fire departments are: Chicopee Fire Department, $25,291; East Longmeadow, $19,000; Ware, $18,940; Northampton, $18,818; Westfield, $17,807; West Springfield, $16,340 and Agawam $12,923.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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