BOSTON, Mass. -- Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, announced 121 grants to fire departments throughout the U.S. in the thirtieth round of the fiscal year 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The grants will ultimately total approximately 7,000 awards worth $750 million in direct assistance to firefighters. Included in the announcement of this latest round were awards for four communities in Massachusetts, including grants to Amherst, Blackstone, Uxbridge, and Weymouth.
"Our first responders provide an invaluable service to our nation on a daily basis by answering the call to protect lives and property against all threats," said Brown. "President Bush, Secretary Ridge and I continue our commitment to support America" firefighters with the distribution of these critical funds."
This thirtieth round of grants provides over $14 million to help local fire departments fund the purchase of firefighting equipment, fund firefighter health and safety programs, enhance emergency medical services programs, and conduct fire prevention and safety programs. Since June, over 8000 fire departments have received over $632 million to support their role as first responders in the neighborhoods and communities they serve as firefighters.
Grants have been made available to the following fire departments in Massachusetts for fire operations and firefighter safety:
- Amherst Fire Dept. - $331,880;
- Blackstone Fire Dept. - $37,540;
- Uxbridge Fire Dept. - $45,108;
- Weymouth Fire Dept. - $194,754.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), administers the Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program. The program assists rural, urban and suburban fire departments throughout the United States. A list of all current award recipients announced to date is posted on the USFA web site at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/grants. Future grant recipients will be listed as awards are made.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.