(Washington, DC) – Today, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $1,216,972.31 in federal funding in support of Granite State firefighters around the state. Through the agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) program, the following cities and towns received grants:
The AFG grants come in addition to previous ones that had been awarded to Milford, Canterbury, Hudson, Chichester and the New Hampshire Department of Safety, as well as a Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) program grant awarded to Goffstown. Altogether, New Hampshire fire departments received $2,885,002.31 in federal funding.
The AFG program provides direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments in order to enhance the safety of firefighters and the public. The listed grants were issued under the Operations and Safety category of the AFG program, which provides funding for training, equipment acquisition, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness activities, and modifications of fire/EMS stations.
“These federal grants are important investments for New Hampshire’s first responders, and will help bolster resources and training for New Hampshire fire departments throughout the state,” said Senator Shaheen, who helped to secure this funding as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which is responsible for funding the AFG program. “Granite State firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities, which is why ensuring that they have the tools that they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently will continue to be a top priority for me in the Senate.”
“We must ensure that our first responders have the resources and support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Hassan. “These federal grants will help provide critical protective equipment and training to fire departments across our state, and I will continue to strongly advocate for resources for our first responders.”
“Firefighters are selfless public servants who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our communities, and it’s critically important that we work to ensure they have everything they need to adequately perform their job duties,” said Congresswoman Kuster, who has advocated on behalf of Granite State fire departments and worked with the House Appropriations Committee to secure robust funding for the SAFER and AFG grant programs. “This funding will invest in the wellbeing of firefighters and provide them with enhanced training and equipment, which will improve the safety of the general public. I’m excited about this development and I will continue my efforts to support all of our emergency responders.”
“We all know the instrumental role that fire fighters play in keeping our families and communities safe, yet far too often we see resources fall short,” said Congressman Pappas. “These federal dollars will go a long way in bridging the gap and ensuring our fire fighters have the support they need to continue carrying out their life saving work.”
“These funds will assist our many small rural departments, as well as larger municipal departments, to purchase personal protective and other safety equipment to be better prepared for diverse, dangerous and other complicated on-the-job incidents. These funds help increase readiness and enhance the safety of our responders and citizens. We are appreciative of this grant program in New Hampshire because we are able to better mitigate hazards, which would be more difficult without this funding,” said Deborah Pendergast, Director of New Hampshire Fire Standards and Training.
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has consistently fought to support the AFG grant program. In bipartisan funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2020 that recently passed the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen bolstered funding for the program, securing $355 million – a $5 million boost over last year’s funding levels.