Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Congressman Richard E. Neal and Fire Commissioner BJ Calvi announced $1,350,428 in federal grants for the Springfield Fire Department this morning at the Raymond M. Sullivan Public Safety Complex at 1212 Carew Street.
Working in collaboration with Congressman Neal, the Springfield Fire Department (SFD) has secured three major grants for integral staffing, education and equipment purposes.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “Once again Chairman Neal comes through for our Springfield and his district. I’m very thankful to Richie, once a Mayor, always the heart of a Mayor. Also, my thanks goes to the innovative leadership of Commissioner Calvi and grant writing expertise of Erica Floyd and Gary Sullivan too.”
“As the third largest city in the Commonwealth, Springfield’s fire department strives to protect its 155,000 residents on a daily basis,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “With the acquisition of these three awards from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s grant program, the city will be able to hire an additional eight firefighters to ensure that this continues. Congratulations to Mayor Sarno and Commissioner Calvi on their steadfast commitment to applying for and securing these extremely competitive grants.”
“These grants are very important for both the safety of the citizens of the City of Springfield and the Springfield firefighters. The SAFER Grant enables us to place an additional two firefighters on each shift and the Fire Act Grant enables us to more efficiently launder and clean carcinogens from our protective clothing,” said Commissioner BJ Calvi. “Thank you to Congressman Richard Neal and Senators Warren and Markey for their support of the Department while pursuing these grants. And thank you to Mayor Sarno for his support of the Fire Department and enabling me to pursue these grants on behalf of the City.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the City $1,138,310 in SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) Grant funding so that the SFD may hire eight additional firefighters for a three year period. The City will contribute $707,710 in matching funds. This will enable the SFD to improve National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for firefighters assembling on the fireground and importantly, increase the personal safety of firefighters and civilians throughout Springfield by enabling faster application of water on a structure fire and rescue operations for citizens trapped in a structure fire.
The City will receive a second grant from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $95,454.54 for turnout gear extractor washing machines, of which the City will match 10% at $9,545.54. The federal funding will assist the SFD in replacing seven older and damaged machines and bring them up to NFPA standards. The equipment is vital for the personal safety and protection of firefighters are proper washing and cleaning of gear lessens carcinogenic and cancerous exposures to toxic smoke and soot, to firefighters and the community they protect.
A Fire Prevention and Safety Grant for $116,664 from FEMA was also awarded to the City for a Fire Education Safety Trailer for fire prevention instructors to use throughout the City to teach fire safety to at risk communities including children, students and senior citizens. The trailer uses interactive components to surpass language and learning barriers. The City will contribute $5,832 in matching funds.