September 10, 2021

NH Delegation Announces More than $5.7 Million in Federal Funding to Support Granite State Firefighters

(Manchester, NH) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Homeland Security Committee, and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded more than $5.7 million in federal funding to support Granite State firefighters through its Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) program. The following cities and towns received grants through these programs: 

  

Program

Community

Purpose

Amount

SAFER 

Merrimack 

To hire 8 new fulltime firefighters 

$2,559,254.16 

AFG 

Manchester 

To purchase firefighter breathing apparatus 

$1,366,700.00 

SAFER 

Goffstown 

To hire 4 new fulltime firefighters 

$1,223,467.28 

AFG 

Derry 

To purchase firefighter breathing apparatus 

$496,980.00 

AFG 

Pittsfield 

To purchase portable and mobile radios 

$54,086.07 

TOTAL 

  

  

$5,700,487.51 

  

The AFG program provides direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments in order to enhance safety for firefighters and the public. The grants can be used for training, equipment acquisition, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness activities and modifications of fire/EMS stations.  The SAFER program provides grants directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities.    

 

“New Hampshire firefighters are integral to the safety and well-being of our communities, which is why securing funding to ensure they are able to do their jobs as safely and efficiently as possible has been a top priority for me in the Senate,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m thrilled to announce this important federal funding headed to New Hampshire, which will help these Granite State fire departments replace critical safety and communications equipment, as well as add additional firefighters to increase their capacity to serve New Hampshire communities. I will continue to fight for resources to support our fire departments and keep our firefighters safe on the job.” 

 

“Fire fighters put their lives on the line every day to help save lives, and we must ensure that they have the resources that they need to stay safe and serve our communities,” said Senator Hassan. “I was glad to push for these crucial grants that will support New Hampshire fire fighters, and I will continue to work to support our brave responders.” 

 

“The brave men and women who make up our New Hampshire Fire Departments are on the frontlines each and every day working to protect our communities,” said Representative Kuster. “This funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program will help ensure our Granite State firefighters have the workforce training and supplies needed to help do their jobs safely. I’m proud to see these funds heading to New Hampshire, and to fight for our first responders in Congress.” 

 

“New Hampshire’s firefighters put themselves in harm’s way every day, and we must continue to support our departments as they work to keep Granite Staters safe,” said Representative Pappas. “I’m pleased that these grants have been awarded to ensure our departments have the equipment and staff they need to serve our communities safely. I remain committed to working in a bipartisan manner to support our firefighters and first responders.” 

 

“As a leader in the New Hampshire Fire Service, I am very grateful to Senator Shaheen and her staff as well as Senator Hassan and the rest of New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation on their continued support of these programs. I also very much appreciate their input and help on obtaining these grant awards for many New Hampshire cities and towns as well as for the New Hampshire Fire Academy. These grants go a long way in providing the necessary training, tools, equipment, vehicles, and personnel that respond every day to the citizens and visitors of New Hampshire,” said Michael W. Sitar, Jr, President of the New Hampshire Association of Fire Chiefs. 

 

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has consistently fought to support New Hampshire firefighters. In funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2021 that was passed by Congress and signed into law in December, Shaheen bolstered funding for the program, securing $360 million for the AFG program. Shaheen frequently advocates for New Hampshire fire departments to receive awards through the AFG program. The Senator also helped include $360 million for the SAFER program. Last year, Senator Shaheen’s legislation, the Guaranteeing Equipment Safety for Firefighters Act, was signed into law as part of the annual defense bill for FY2021. The legislation will take important steps to address health concerns regarding firefighters’ occupational exposure to harmful PFAS chemicals through their personal protective equipment.  

 

Senator Hassan is working to support New Hampshire fire fighters and emergency responders. She has pushed for NH fire departments to receive SAFER and AFG grants, and earlier this year, Senator Hassan successfully led efforts to include $300 million in the American Rescue Plan to expand these grant programs. In addition, Senator Hassan introduced legislation to guarantee collective bargaining rights for fire fighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. Earlier this summer, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation that Senator Maggie Hassan and her colleagues introduced to help protect fire fighters from hazardous PFAS chemicals.      

 

 

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