BRIDGEWATER — Chief Thomas D. Levy is pleased to announce that the Bridgewater Fire Department has been awarded a $6,448.95 grant by the Baker-Polito Administration to purchase a gear cleaning machine to reduce firefighter exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The Baker-Polito Administration announced $420,000 in grant awards on Friday, Feb. 21 to 75 fire departments throughout the Commonwealth for the purchase of a new washer-extractor to clean their structural firefighting gear after exposure to smoke and other toxic chemicals. The grants aim to reduce firefighter exposure to toxic, cancer causing chemicals found in substances including smoke and ash.
“We are extremely thankful that the Baker-Polito administration recognized our need for a new machine and provided us a grant that will allow us to purchase one,” said Chief Levy. “Occupational cancer is one of the serious long-term effects of an already dangerous job. This new machine will allow for us to thoroughly clean our gear from toxic, potentially deadly chemicals and help us protect our firefighters for many years to come.”
A national standard set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on the care and cleaning of structural firefighting gear delineates specific types of machines that should be used to effectively remove cancer-causing chemicals after each fire. This grant will enable Bridgewater Fire Department personnel to wash their gear in a way that meets that standard after each exposure and be ready to respond to the next emergency in properly cleaned gear.
This award comes in addition to $920,000 in grant awards delivered last year to 174 Massachusetts fire departments, funding 75 washer-extractors and about 3,000 pairs of gloves and another 3,000 hoods.