SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Fire Department will benefit from nearly $50,000 in funding through the state’s Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program.

State Senator Adam Gomez (D-Springfield) joined the Healey-Driscoll administration and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security in announcing the $49,778 award on Feb. 7, part of $5 million in fiscal year 2024 awards to 321 Massachusetts fire departments through the program, which is now in its fourth year.

“I am glad to see the release of these funds that will directly impact outcomes for our first responders and fire victims,” Gomez said. “I want to thank the administration for prioritizing their safety, which is vital to keeping our communities safe.”

Fire departments throughout the region were awarded the monetary grants to apply to reimbursement costs for service-related tools and equipment.

“Every single day, firefighters across Massachusetts put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities,”?said Gov. Maura Healey.?“They deserve our thanks and our support. The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program is just one way we can express our appreciation for that selfless dedication.”

Springfield Fire Commissioner B.J. Calvi said the money will go toward important additions and upgrades for the firefighters and their firehouses.

“The Department of Fire Service grant funding is a nice boost to the Springfield Fire Department safety equipment program. This funding enables the department to purchase mission critical safety equipment that enhances the safety of our members,” he said. “This year’s grant funding will be used to purchase firefighter escape systems for every riding position in the department. These escape systems allow trapped firefighters to escape from upper floors of fire buildings if their primary means of exit is cut off and they are trapped by fire.”

Calvi said in past years the grant funding has permitted the department to upgrade the cylinder capacity of firefighters self-contained breathing apparatus from 30 to 45 minutes of use as well as the distribution of Class II fall protection and thermal imagers to their companies who did not have them previously.
The Commissioner also offered his appreciation to the Department of Fire Services for the city’s inclusion in the grant fund disbursement.

“I would like to thank Fire Marshal [Jon] Davine for his support of the Springfield Fire Department in the awarding of this Firefighter Safety Grant, “he said.

Davine called the grants an investment in the health and safety of the state’s firefighters.

“The flexibility of the program is especially valuable because it allows each department to make purchases based on their specific needs and resources,” he said.

Agencies throughout Massachusetts were invited to apply to the grant program, which provides reimbursement on purchases of well over one hundred different types of eligible equipment. Fire hoses, nozzles, turnout gear, ballistic protective equipment are covered along with items like gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, among others.

“From structure fires and water rescues to hazardous materials and building collapses, firefighters never know what life-threatening risks the next call will bring,”?said Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll.?“These grants will support the purchase of fundamental tools and specialty equipment to help them do a dangerous job more safely.”

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