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Congressman Richard E. Neal Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi and Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski to Announce $132,300 Grant

April 29, 2013
Press Release
Neal to Join Local Officials for Federal Grant Announcement

(PITTSFIELD) Congressman Richard E. Neal will join Mayor Dan Bianchi, Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski, local officials and emergency personnel to announce a $132,300 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

"In recent weeks, the bravery and resolve of our first responders has been on display worldwide," said Neal. "Supplying our fire fighters with state-of-the-art equipment and training is paramount so they can protect us -and themselves- during the most vulnerable times."
The awarding of this AFG funding will allow the City of Pittsfield Fire Department to fully upgrade all of its self-contained breathing apparatus to the newest and highest level of protection and technology available. 

"These new air-packs will allow our personnel to operate safely and comfortably in immediately dangerous-to-life and health environments such as structure fires," said Czerwinski. "But more importantly, as recent events in the Commonwealth have shown, terrorism remains a challenge to all first responders and this new equipment will help provide an added level of respiratory protection safety to our firefighters responding to those challenges. Originally designed for firefighting, these new respirators will also provide a exceptional level of protection in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Etiological (CBRNE) environments."

" The City of Pittsfield is grateful for receiving these FEMA grant funds," said Bianchi. "We would never want to put our firefighters in harm’s way. Safety is always first for these valued individuals.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the primary goal of the AFG is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.