(Hartford, CT)—Connecticut Senators Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal announced today that the Waterbury fire department will receive $77,600 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants program (AFG), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant will be used for fire prevention:
“All too often, the work that goes into preventing and preparing for disasters goes unnoticed by communities that stand to benefit,” Lieberman said. “But when they aren’t responding to fires and other tragedies, first responders are training for the next incident. This federal grant will provide the Waterbury Fire Department with critical additional resources to help it prevent and prepare for disasters that may strike without warning. Firefighters in Connecticut and nationwide put their lives on the line to protect their communities. We must do all we can to lessen their burden.”
Blumenthal said: “There are few more critical investments than supporting our first responders who, much like our men and women in the military, put their lives at risk on a daily basis to protect our communities. This grant will provide necessary support to ensure that Waterbury’s courageous fire fighters are able do their jobs in the most effective and safe manner possible.”
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. Since the FIRE and SAFER Acts were signed into law, FEMA has distributed 644 grants for a total of over $71 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.