Hartford, CT - U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) today announced the award of two Fire Prevention and Safety Grants to assist Brookfield, New Milford and Stratford fire fighters in safely responding to emergencies. The grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
Brookfield and New Milford were jointly awarded $595,000 to purchase 89 self-contained breathing apparatuses and three accountability tracking systems for the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company, Candlewood Company and Water Witch Hose Company #2.
Each of the three companies will receive a new tracking system that will enable incident commanders to view vital personal safety information during volatile and dangerous situations. The system will provide a continuous communication link between firefighters and the command station, providing real time information that could be used to immediately locate a firefighter in distress. Additionally, the 89 self-contained breathing apparatuses will replace older equipment, providing firefighters with modern, life-saving equipment.
Stratford received $186,000 to purchase new paramedic monitors for its Emergency Medical Service first responders. The new monitors will replace out of date equipment and will be equipped with defibrillating machines that can monitor pulse, oxygen levels, blood pressure and detailed heart rate.
“These grants will ensure that our first responders in Brookfield, New Milford and Stratford have access to state of the art equipment that will help not only protect their lives in the event of an emergency, but to help them better protect the lives of the residents they so selflessly serve every day. Our first responders deserve the best life-saving technology available, and I will continue to advocate for federal funding to make sure that is a reality for all of our Connecticut departments,” Blumenthal said.
“Our firefighters put their lives on the line to protect us, and few things are more important than supporting these heroes,” said Murphy. “This funding will help keep firefighters in Brookfield and New Milford safer while they work to keep our families safe, and I’m proud to support it.”
“Stratford Emergency Medical Service not only provides exemplary service to the community, but is an innovator in the field of emergency medical response. These funds will allow them to continue to provide that high level of aid by ensuring that their emergency medical technicians have the most advanced technology and equipment available to meet the myriad of incidents to which they respond,” said DeLauro.
“These grants will provide critical support to our volunteer firefighters who courageously put their own lives on the line to save others. I applaud the Department of Homeland Security for making this important investment in protecting the lives and safety of Brookfield and New Milford residents and congratulate the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company, Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company, Candlewood Company, and Water Witch Hose Company #2 on earning these well-deserved grants,” said Esty.
“On behalf our fire volunteers, I am delighted that our two fire companies have received this FEMA Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant. These funds will support the purchase of air packs to replace older equipment. These air packs are vital safety-to-life equipment that will protect the men and women who provide Brookfield with first-class emergency response services. This grant was secured as a result of the special efforts of Sara Ellis, Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company and Jason Ginsberg, Candlewood Fire Department. During the past seven years both fire companies have received multiple FEMA grants that total nearly $1 million. These FEMA grants are a direct savings to Brookfield taxpayers. They have supported the purchase of vital equipment that would otherwise have been included in the municipal budget,” said Brookfield First Selectman Bill Davidson.
“It is great to help enhance the safety of our first responders with this competitive grant. The town of New Milford recognizes the time that was put into winning this grant, and anything that improves the wellbeing and safety of first responders is a win in my book. This grant is money that we can save from future budgets,” said New Milford Mayor Pat Murphy.
“This grant to Stratford EMS will be used to enhance services, by way of providing funding to upgrade paramedic monitor systems used in transporting patients. I’d like to thank all of those in both local and federal government who played a hand in writing the grant request, and in seeing it was awarded to Stratford,” said Stratford Mayor John A. Harkins.
These grants are the 18th and 19th firefighting grant awarded in Connecticut in Fiscal Year 2013. Middletown received $1.14 million to hire eight additional firefighters and Waterbury received $2.9 million to hire new fire recruits through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters grant programs administered by FEMA. Bristol, East Woodstock, Killingly, Plainfield, Willington, Seymour, Middletown, East Hartford, Shelton, Norwalk, Torrington, Southington and Waterbury also received grants to support operations and safety measures.
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