James Vuona, Fire Chief
11 Church Road
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019
Media Contact: Jordan Mayblum
Email: [email protected]
Shrewsbury Fire Department Awarded Grants to Fund Additional Staffing and Fire Prevention Initiatives
SHREWSBURY — Fire Chief James Vuona is pleased to announce that the Shrewsbury Fire Department was awarded two grants totaling just shy of $585,000 that will support both increased staffing and enhanced fire safety programs.
Distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant provides funding for fire departments to help increase and maintain the number of firefighters available to respond to emergencies in the community.
The grant covers a period of three years in which Shrewbury Fire will use the funds to recruit and retain an additional four full-time career firefighters. The $570,525 grant will cover approximately 75 percent of the salaries and benefits in the first two years and 35 percent of those costs in year three. Once the grant has been expended, the town will be responsible for maintaining the cost of the positions.
“This award will greatly enhance our ability to respond to fires and other emergencies and it is a large step toward the staffing level we are trying to achieve,” Chief Vuona said. “This grant is a result of the collaborative efforts of many personnel within our department and town to ensure the safety of the residents we serve.”
Chief Vuona would like to thank several people who made the grant possible, including Shrewsbury Fire grant specialist Firefighter Michael Borowiec, Westborough Fire Chief Pat Purcell and Northborough Fire Chief David Parenti. In addition, the department would like to thank the offices of U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey for their continued support and Congressman Jim McGovern for his letter of support for the department.
Chief Vuona would also like to thank Shrewsbury Town Manager Kevin Mizikar, as well as the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee for supporting increased staffing levels, which will create a more effective working environment for firefighters and a safer overall community.
Shrewsbury Fire was also awarded a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant in the amount of $14,286 by FEMA.
With that grant, the department will create a sustainable fire alarm installation, fire prevention education, and at-home risk assessment program to reduce the risk of fire and subsequent loss of life or property within the target populations. Shrewsbury Fire has created an intervention strategy to mitigate the risks associated with fire loss which outlines the need for fire alarm installation and public education.
As part of the project, Shrewsbury Fire personnel will install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for residents.
The program will be administered primarily through the use of on duty personnel, but it will also work in conjunction with the SAFE Program, which promotes school and senior education, as well as other community outreach and risk reduction efforts.