BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Governor Maura Healey's Office has awarded $5 million to 321 fire departments in Massachusetts through the Department of Fire Services' Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program.
The program reimburses fire departments on purchases of 135 different types of eligible equipment, including hoses and nozzles, turnout gear, ballistic protective equipment, washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, hand tools and extraction equipment, hazardous gas meters, communication equipment, and more. This equipment helps departments attain compliance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) or National Fire Protection Association safety standards.
This is the fourth year funds have been awarded through the program.
"Every single day, firefighters across Massachusetts put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities," said Governor Maura Healey in a statement last Tuesday. "They deserve our thanks and our support. The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program is just one way we can express our appreciation for that selfless dedication."
The grants range from $2,600 to $49,872.96.
On Monday, several fire departments expressed gratitude for the funds.
"This funding will allow us to purchase safety equipment for the betterment of our firefighters and our community," Stoneham Fire Chief Matthew Grafton said Monday. "Keeping our equipment up to date is of utmost importance to firefighter safety and I would like to thank the Department of Fire Services for awarding us this funding."
The Stoneham Fire Department will use their $18,999 to buy firefighting nozzles and appliances, search and rescue rope kits, and a battery operated positive pressure vent fan.
“I am extremely grateful that the State and Department of Fire Services recognizes the job and inherent dangers that firefighters face while performing our duties and the importance of assisting to provide critical pieces of equipment to that end," said North Reading Fire Chief Don Stats, whose department received $13,591.
Stats said the money will go towards purchasing several items, including roadway and highway safety equipment, lithium ion fire blanket and extinguishing agent, handheld thermal imager, and rescue saw.
Berkley Fire Rescue, which received a $15,500 grant, said they will use the funding to buy new hoses, valves and nozzles to replace current equipment that is 20 to 30 years old.
A full list of departments and the amount of funds they received can be found here.