March 17, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) announced today that fire departments in Coventry and Willimantic have been awarded federal grants totaling $162,274. The funds will go to improving operations and safety, acquiring new vehicles, and hiring additional personnel. The grants were made possible by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program, which provides aid to first-responder programs nationwide to improve equipment and training in order to protect the health and safety of the public and first-responders.
“These grants will help ensure that the Coventry and Willimantic Fire Departments have the resources they need to protect both the residents of their communities and the brave men and women who risk their lives to keep them safe,” said Dodd. “Connecticut owes its security to the work of our selfless fire fighters and first responders. They deserve nothing less than our full support and the proper funding for their departments.”
“Connecticut’s firefighters are part of a brave cadre of first responders who risk their own lives every day to protect our communities,” said Lieberman. “We must continue to do all we can to ensure that cities and towns across Connecticut receive the federal funding necessary to prepare them to respond to fires and other emergency situations.”
The fire departments to receive funding are:
Coventry Volunteer Fire Association $68,341
Willimantic Fire Department $93,933
Senators Dodd and Lieberman have a long history of advocating for fire safety. In 2000, Dodd authored and Lieberman cosponsored the FIRE Act, which gives local fire departments the ability to purchase new equipment and initiate education and training programs. In 2003, Dodd authored and Lieberman cosponsored the SAFER Act, a law that gives local fire departments the ability to alleviate critical shortfalls in professional and volunteer personnel. Since the SAFER and FIRE Acts were enacted, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security, has distributed 500 grants for a total of more than $53 million in Connecticut to help fire departments strengthen their response capabilities.