Coventry, West Greenwich, and Foster to Receive FEMA Firefighting Grants

Oct 10, 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 three Second District Fire Departments federal grants under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Central Coventry Fire District      $  54,810.00
West Greenwich Fire Dept.     $  11,475.00
Foster Center Vol. Fire Co.      $  49,266.00

FEMA reports that the local fire departments 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, local fire departments 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.”

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, its 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, West Greenwich and Foster Fire Departments were three of the 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.