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Neal Announces $780,000 Federal Grant for Holyoke Fire Department

April 17, 2013
Press Release
CONGRESSMAN RICHARD E. NEAL
DEMOCRAT FROM MASSACHUSETTS
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS
2208 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515
www.house.gov/neal

CONTACT: William Tranghese (202) 225-8410

NEAL ANNOUNCES $780,000 FEDERAL GRANT
FOR HOLYOKE FIRE DEPARTMENT

Funds will be used for hiring and safety operations

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Richard E. Neal, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, today announced that the Holyoke Fire Department will receive $784,165 in federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The first grant for hiring was approximately $668,155 and was awarded through the DHS FY 2012 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. An additional $116,010 in funds for operations and safety will come out of the FEMA FY 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The grants were awarded through a competitive process. Neal informed Holyoke Fire Chief John Pond of the news in a phone call from Washington, D.C. last night.
"What this grant means is there will be more fire fighters and emergency services personnel in the City of Holyoke to keep families in that community safe. Chief Pond and his team do an extraordinary job, and these two federal grants will allow them to perform their duties more effectively. I believe the brave men and women of the Holyoke Fire Department deserve the best resources and equipment to ensure public safety. This assistance will help them accomplish that objective," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

"In these difficult economic times, the SAFER grant will ensure public safety by assisting the Fire Department with Staffing and Deployment Capabilities in order to effectively respond to Fires and Emergencies, and the AFG grant will provide much needed updates to our radio communications infrastructure and equipment," said Chief John Pond. "The Holyoke Fire Department truly appreciates Congressman Neal's continued support in obtaining the resources needed to support and enhance the fire protection services for the City of Holyoke.

According to DHS, the goal of the SAFER program is to strengthen the nation's ability to respond to fire and fire related hazards and improve our overall level of preparedness. Grants are awarded directly to fire departments across the country to help them increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire fire fighters who were laid off due to the economy. In FY 2012, the DHS will award $320 million to fire department s and volunteer groups to expand the number of firefighters available to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public with respect to fire and all other hazards.

The purpose of the AFG is to award grants to fire departments and Emergency Medical Services organizations (EMS) that are unaffiliated with a hospital to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first responder personnel. In FY 2012, FEMA's AFG program will award $337.5 million to fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel.

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