Casket Company Fire

A firefighter walks outside the New England Casket Company a day after a 9-alarm fire destroyed the business in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston, Saturday, March 16, 2019. 

(The Center Square) – Fire departments throughout the state will have access to $5 million in grant funds to purchase equipment and supplies, Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The funding will be distributed to the 306 fire departments in the state, the governor announced in a news release, as part of the FY22 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program.

“Our communities and families depend on firefighters in difficult and dangerous moments,” Baker said in the release. “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.”

According to the release, the is the consecutive straight year the funding has been made available to departments. The funding was created through a $25 million bond bill.

The fire departments that applied to the program are now eligible to purchase 118 different types of equipment, according to the release. The program allows for the purchase of personal protective clothing, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, hand tools and extrication equipment, along with communications resources, hazardous gas meters, and fitness equipment.

Michael Winn, who servers are president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts, said the job of the modern firefighter has taken on countless forms.

“At any given moment, they could be asked to respond to a fire, a hazardous materials leak, a car accident, or a medical call,” said Winn, who also serves as chief of the Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills department. “Equipping them for safety in each of these situations is a significant financial burden for every department. We are so thankful that funding was made available to help with this challenge, especially at a time when so many departments are facing budget issues due to COVID-19.”

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.