(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) -- a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee -- and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) -- a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee – announced today with Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) that $388,465.12 in Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program funding is headed to fire departments in Tamworth, Somersworth, Laconia and Bradford, New Hampshire. The AFG program provides direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments to enhance the safety and training of firefighters and purchase needed equipment.
The Tamworth Fire Department will receive $307,200 for firefighter breathing apparatus and breathing air compressor/fill station. The City of Somersworth Fire Department will receive $47,619.04 for confined space rescue equipment. The Laconia Fire Department will receive $24,931.80 for technical rescue equipment. The Bradford Fire Rescue will receive $8,714.28 for firefighter turnout gear.
“Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to save lives and protect our communities, which is why it’s critical to secure the equipment and training they need to successfully do their jobs,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m thrilled to see an additional round of federal funding go towards Granite State firefighters to help expand their capabilities. As we work to pass the 2024 government funding bill, I will fight to ensure our first responders continue to get their fair share of federal resources.”
“Every day, fire fighters face extremely dangerous situations in order to save lives,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to announce investments in fire departments across New Hampshire, so that they have the necessary gear – from breathing apparatuses to rescue equipment – to keep themselves and their neighbors safe. I will continue working to get our first responders the resources that they need.”
“Across New Hampshire, our brave firefighters make tremendous sacrifices and work tirelessly to keep our communities safe—it’s essential they are well equipped,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I’m thrilled to see these resources heading to our state so our first responders can purchase the new gear and equipment they need to do their jobs safely.”
“Firefighters across New Hampshire put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep our communities safe - whether they’re responding to emergencies, providing lifesaving care, or helping our communities combat the opioid epidemic,” said Congressman Pappas. “I am pleased that these grants have been awarded, and I remain committed to returning federal dollars to the First District so that our first responders can get the training, equipment, and funding they need to do their jobs safely.”
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has consistently fought to support New Hampshire firefighters. In funding legislation for FY 2023 that was passed by Congress and signed into law, Shaheen secured an additional $360 million for the AFG program. She also included $360 million to the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) program. In total, the FY 2023 law provides a $20 million increase in funding for firefighters compared with the enacted FY 2022 funding level. Recently, the New Hampshire delegation announced over $700,000 in AFG program funding for fire departments in Errol, New Hampton, Surry and Warren.
Senator Hassan has led efforts to support New Hampshire fire fighters. She helped advance a bipartisan bill to extend the AFG program through the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and the bill recently passed the Senate. Senator Hassan has helped ensure that New Hampshire fire departments benefit from this program; for instance, Senator Hassan helped secure a grant to the Berlin Fire Department in 2022 to replace its fire engine that had been in service since 1979. Senator Hassan also successfully worked to increase funding for the AFG and SAFER programs in the American Rescue Plan that was passed into law.