WASHINGTON – Connecticut Senators Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal announced Friday that the New London Fire Department and the Oakdale Volunteer Fire Department will receive grants from the Department of Homeland Security. The New London Fire Department will receive over $15,000 from the Fire Protection and Safety Grants (FP&S) program. The Oakdale Volunteer Fire Department will receive over $260,000 for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. Both grants are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The FP &S grant will help assist with commercial inspections, code awareness and enforcement and the SAFER grant will help hire firefighters and recruit and retain volunteer firefighters:
“The safety of the men and women who protect us from disasters every day is of paramount importance, and we must do all we can to protect them,” said Lieberman. “These grants will help the New London and Oakdale fire departments protect and defend the citizens of Connecticut from emergencies. Even in tough economic times, we will not sacrifice the safety and security of Connecticut communities. I am pleased to announce these funds will be coming to Connecticut.
Blumenthal said: “Being a firefighter is a dangerous job and we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that these men and women have the most up to date resources and staffing to keep our families and communities safe,” said Senator Blumenthal. “These two grants reflect the importance of prioritizing the vital role our firefighters play in Connecticut.”
Lieberman has a long history of advocating for fire safety. In 2000 and 2003, respectively, he was a cosponsor of the FIRE and SAFER Acts and on March 10, 2011, introduced the Fire Grant Reauthorization Act of 2011, legislation that reauthorizes the AFG and SAFER programs for five years. That bill was passed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Lieberman, on May 18. Since the FIRE and SAFER Acts were signed into law, FEMA has distributed 648 grants for a total of over $72 million in Connecticut to help fire departments strengthen their response capabilities. Lieberman is also a Co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus for the 112th Congress.
Blumenthal has fought to ensure the fair provision of survivor benefits to the spouses and families of police officers and firefighters who have been injured, or lost their lives, in the line of duty.