Langevin Announces Federal Funds for Hope Valley Firefighters

Dec 15, 2004

(Warwick, R.I.)–Congressman Jim Langevin today announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has honored the Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire District’s request for $216,000 to acquire a new fire truck under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

 "Thanks to the Department of Homeland Security, the Hope Valley - Wyoming Fire District first responders will have a new vehicle with which to carry out their public safety duties," said Congressman Langevin, a member of the Congressional Firefighters Caucus and the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. "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 both the first responders and residents safe."

According to the United States Fire Administration (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 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.

 During the last Congress, Langevin was a co-sponsor of H.R. 2163, the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act, which 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 supported H.R. 3185, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which would have provided $1 billion a year to fund 75,000 new firefighters over seven years.

"From first-response emergency care services to front-line defense against domestic fires like the Station tragedy, we depend on these brave men and women," Langevin added.