NORTH READING — Chief Don Stats is pleased to announce that the North Reading Fire Department is one of nearly 300 fire departments across the state to have been awarded a grant as part of the Department of Fire Services Fiscal Year 2021 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program.
The $11,429 grant awarded to the North Reading Fire Department will be used to purchase a Firehouse 6 Gear Express drying cabinet for drying firefighting turnout gear after washing. The cabinet will allow the North Reading firefighters to place their gear back in service more quickly after washing it after fires, which helps to reduce exposure to cancer-causing carcinogens and protects the safety of all firefighting personnel.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey and the State of Massachusetts for making this grant possible and supporting the local departments, and considering the safety of all firefighting personnel,” Chief Stats said. “This machine will help to protect the health and safety of all our members, and ensure our gear is ready to go for any emergency.”
This program enables fire departments to purchase a variety of equipment that will make firefighters’ jobs safer. The $4 million awarded to departments statewide is part of a $25 million bond bill filed by the Baker-Polito Administration to support firefighter health and safety over the next five years.
Fire departments in Massachusetts were able to apply to this program for 114 different types of eligible equipment, including personal protective clothing, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, assorted hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, fitness equipment and more.
“Investing in the short-term and long-term health and safety of firefighters has been a hallmark of the Baker-Polito Administration,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “I am grateful that we are able to continue supporting this initiative and make sure that firefighters not only go home safe at the end of every shift, but also that they maintain their health during and after their careers. This funding couldn’t come at a better time either. With the financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought to so many Massachusetts municipalities, this grant funding will mitigate critical budget gaps in many departments.”
A complete list of the awards by department can be found here.