Haverhill and other area communities are among those sharing in state grants to buy critical firefighter safety gear.
Haverhill was awarded $35,000 from the Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program, while Lawrence received $28,997; North Andover, $24,584; Groveland, $15,072; and West Newbury, $12,500. This is the third year money has been awarded as part of a five-year, $25 million bond bill to support firefighter safety and health in the coming years.
“We ask so much of our firefighters, and no matter how dangerous or difficult the situation, they always do whatever it takes to help,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “This program is an opportunity to make sure they are properly protected every time they answer a call for help.”
Fire departments in Massachusetts were able to apply to this program for 121 different types of eligible equipment, including ballistic protective clothing, thermal 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.
“Every time a firefighter goes to work, they could be asked to rescue a child from a burning building, clean up a spill of hazardous materials, treat a patient with a contagious medical condition or rush into a hostile event to rescue and treat victims,” said state Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “This program is absolutely vital to helping fire departments prepare for the vast array of hazards they face today and making sure that firefighters go home safe after every call.”