BERKLEY — Chief Scott Fournier is pleased to announce that the Berkley Fire Department has been awarded a $6,268.00 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.
“The Baker-Polito Administration’s grant is much needed support for the ongoing cancer prevention efforts within the firefighting community,” said Chief Fournier. “Thanks to their generous funding, the Berkley Fire Department will be able to purchase and use state-of-the-art equipment to properly wash our gear. The administration’s advocacy on behalf of our public safety personnel helps ensure that we can deliver the best service to our community while remaining safe.”
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 Berkley 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.