Haverhill, Groveland, North Andover Fire Departments Among Those Receiving Protective Gear Grants

Georgetown firefighter Mike McManus was among those assisting the West Newbury Fire Department during an April 2021 blaze. (Photograph courtesy of the West Newbury Fire Department.)

Haverhill and area communities are sharing in $5 million from the state Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program aimed at making firefighters’ jobs safer.

Haverhill was awarded $34,848. Other nearby communities receiving grants were Georgetown, $15,453; Groveland, $12,961; Lawrence, $20,284; Merrimac, $15,500; North Andover, $15,249; and West Newbury, $12,500.

“Our communities and families depend on firefighters in difficult and dangerous moments,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “This program is an opportunity to show our deep appreciation for their work by ensuring they have the tools they need to stay safe and healthy.”

Fire departments in Massachusetts were able to apply for 118 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. In many cases, the purchase of this equipment helps departments attain compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration or National Fire Protection Association safety standards.

Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy noted many fire departments us these grants to buy equipment to reduce firefighters’ long-term exposure to cancer-causing materials. He explained, “The toll that occupational cancer has taken on the fire service is unfortunately immense…We often see and hear about heroic rescues in the face of obvious and overwhelming danger, but the risks firefighters face go well beyond those events.”

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