GLOUCESTER — The Gloucester Fire Department has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The $291,272.72 grant will be used to fund the installation of proper sprinkler systems and working alarm systems for the department’s three substations. The sprinkler systems will be installed at West Gloucester Fire Station, 33 Concord St., the Bay View Fire Station, 891 Washington St. and the Magnolia Fire Station, 30 Fuller St.
The City of Gloucester will match the grant award by 10%, bringing the total funding available to the department to $320,400.
The installation of proper sprinkler systems will allow the department to mitigate any potential fires that could happen at any of the three stations, which are often left vulnerable when crews are responding to calls for service in the community.
Buildings are frequently unoccupied due to the nature of the job, and with the installation of sprinkler systems and working alarms, essential assets can be protected 24/7/365.
“I would like to thank FEMA and Mayor Greg Verga for making this funding possible,” said Chief Eric Smith. “Additionally, we would like to thank our federal and state delegations for their support. Their endorsement of our applications and request makes a difference in the competitive review process and getting an award from FEMA. Over the last 7 years we have received 8 major awards totaling over $2.4 million dollars. Getting sprinklers for our stations is huge for us. If our buildings are empty, it means our members are out providing assistance to residents or businesses in need, so if something happens at the station there is no one there to tend to it right away. We’ve seen firsthand how important sprinklers can be in mitigating the damage fires can do, and we’re grateful to be able to install them in our facilities.”
Assistance to Firefighters Grants are allocated to fire departments nationally to fund and aid the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations.
These federal grants help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.