The Cranston Fire department is on the receiving end of a more-than $500,000 grant to implement a computer aided dispatch system and upgrade their firefighter breathing apparatus, local officials announced.
U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative James Langevin joined with Mayors Scott Avedisian and Allan Fung to announce more than $1.26 million in federal grants for the Warwick and Cranston Fire Departments.
Cranston will receive $521,944 to implement a computer aided dispatch system to improve the dispatch and response services of the department and to replace and upgrade the department’s firefighter breathing apparatus to improve firefighter safety. Warwick will receive $741,741 to purchase six new automated external defibrillators (AED) that will be used to respond to victims of cardiac arrest. The department will also use the money to help train firefighters assigned to Advanced Life Support ambulances to improve patient care when responding to medical emergencies.
These competitive federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) were made available through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to train firefighters and paramedics and upgrade equipment. Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Representative Langevin wrote to DHS supporting both grant applications.
“At a time when state and local governments are facing significant budget difficulties, these federal grants enhance public safety by ensuring our firefighters have the appropriate training and equipment to safely and effectively respond to emergencies,” said Reed, who recently succeeded in including language in the National Defense Authorization Act to reauthorize and improve the AFG grant program, which is currently awaiting the President’s signature before it can become law. “I commend Mayors Avedisian and Fung on their work to secure this much needed federal funding.”
"Our firefighters put their lives on the line to keep Rhode Islanders safe, and this funding will help ensure that they have the resources they need to continue doing so," said Senator Whitehouse. “I appreciate the work of Mayor Fung and Mayor Avedisian and their fire chiefs to prepare their successful grant applications."
"Once again, Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin have helped Cranston residents by securing federal grants for vital public safety equipment. These federal grants will help upgrade much needed technology to assist our fire department respond more efficiently to calls in the city," Fung said. "Additionally, the funds to upgrade breathing apparatus will improve personal safety for our front line firefighters. On behalf of the citizens of Cranston, I want to express our gratitude to the congressional delegation for assisting us during these challenging financial times."\
The AFG program awards grants through DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel. Strengthening the resources of local fire departments and emergency responders helps communities meet the challenges of fire related hazards.