WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Caucus, announced that six town fire departments, as well as the Maine Firefighting Academy in Brunswick, will receive funding from the latest round of grants to support firefighting training practices, protective gear, and technology through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
“Maine’s firefighters and emergency health professionals protect our communities with outstanding bravery,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome this investment, which will allow departments to acquire high-quality protection gear and training equipment to help protect our state’s firefighters.”
In addition to Maine Firefighting Academy receiving $227,827 for training equipment, the funding will be allocated among the following town fire departments:
· Brewer will receive $120,000 for firefighter breathing apparatus.
· Casco will receive $49,762 for diesel fume exhaust system
· Gray will receive $35,829 for wellness & fitness equipment.
· Portland will receive $681,819 for a heavy rescue truck.
· Rockland will receive $217,591 for firefighter breathing apparatus.
· Eddington will receive a $201,091 regional grant for Eddington, Brewer, Dedham-Lucerne, Holden, and Orrington for automated external defibrillators and cardiac monitors.
Senators Collins and King are advocates for fire safety and they are dedicated to finding ways to best protect firefighters and first responders. In early July, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senators Collins and King, The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act was signed into law. The legislation calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor and study the relationship between career-long exposure to dangerous fumes and toxins and the incidence of cancer in firefighters to determine if there is a link, and to develop better protective gear and prevention techniques.
The AFG Program assists fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations in improving their emergency response capabilities. The program provides federal funding that enables these organizations to purchase equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources to better protect emergency personnel and the communities they serve.