Coventry to Receive FEMA Firefighting Grant

Sep 19, 2002
(Warwick, R.I.)–Congressman Jim Langevin today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) have awarded the Washington Fire District in Coventry $134,434 under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

 FEMA reports that the Coventry Fire Department will use the federal funds for fire operations and firefighter safety.  Other eligible activities include training, wellness and fitness, firefighting equipment, and personal protective equipment.

 “Thanks to FEMA and the USFA, the Coventry Fire Department will have additional resources with which to promote and effectively carry out their public safety duties,” said Congressman Langevin, a member of the Congressional Firefighters Caucus.  “Firefighters serving on the front lines to protect the public deserve the most comprehensive training and highest quality equipment available.  I hope these federal funds will contribute to keeping them safe while in harm’s way.”

 “We were elated to hear that we will be receiving a federal grant to use for increased firefighter safety,” said Brian Hoxsie, Chief, Washington Fire Department.  “This grant will be utilized to purchase equipment that will help us track our personnel in emergency conditions and help rescue them in the event of a catastrophe.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Rhode Island Congressional Delegation for their support of this very important federal program.”

 According to the USFA, the purpose of the program is to award one-year grants directly to fire departments of a state to enhance their abilities with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. This program seeks to identify departments that lack the basic tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel. The USFA's primary goal is to provide assistance to meet these needs.

 The USFA reports that, as an entity of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, their mission is to reduce life and economic losses due to fire and related emergencies, through leadership, advocacy, coordination and support.

 Congressman Langevin is a co-sponsor of H.R. 2163, the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act, legislation that would amend the Federal Employees Compensation Act by creating a presumptive disability for firefighters who become disabled by heart and lung disease, cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma, and infectious diseases like tuberculosis and hepatitis. Under this legislation, disabilities related to these diseases would be considered job related for purposes of workers' compensation and disability retirement -- entitling those affected to the health care coverage and retirement benefits they deserve. 
 
 Langevin also supports H.R. 3185, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which provides $1 billion a year to fund 75,000 new firefighters over seven years.  

 The Coventry Fire Department was one of 655 fire departments to receive funds in this sixth round of grants from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.  

 “From first-response emergency care services on military installations around the world to front-line defense against domestic forest fires, we depend on these brave men and women,” Langevin added.

-30-