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Larson Announces Nearly $600,000 in Grant Funding for Area Fire Departments

September 17, 2021
Press Release

Hartford, CT – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) announced three area fire departments have been awarded funding through the Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. East Windsor’s Warehouse Point Fire Department, the Hartford Fire Department, and the Glastonbury Fire Department were awarded a total of nearly $600,000. 

“Every single day and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, firefighters step up in an extraordinary way to keep our communities safe,” said Larson. “With these three grants, fire departments in the First District have been awarded more than $1 million just this year from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. As the proud son of a firefighter, the work that they do will always have a special place in my heart. It is my honor to advocate for our local fire departments in Washington, and I am pleased to announce this well-deserved funding today.” 

The following departments were awarded grants: 

  • Warehouse Point Fire Department, East Windsor, $233,333.33 for Firefighter Breathing Apparatuses 

  • Hartford Fire Department, $204,545.45 for Portable Radios 

  • Glastonbury Fire Department, $150,000 for Operations and Safety 

“I want to congratulate the Warehouse Point Fire Department on being so active through this competitive grant process. Any time that federal funding is brought to East Windsor, it is something that should be celebrated. This funding will be put to good use to ensure that our firefighters can stay safe while working hard to keep our community safe,” said East Windsor First Selectman Jason Bowsza. 

“On behalf of the Warehouse Point Fire District and the citizens of East Windsor, we are humbled to receive the FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Operations and Safety Grant. We have put countless hours into planning and justifying the much needed funding to replace and upgrade our Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). Being awarded this funding is a huge relief to the taxpaying citizens of Warehouse Point. The Warehouse Point Fire District has submitted this application in the past and are very excited that we were awarded this funding. This allows us to continue to provide safety to the public and our firefighters,” said Warehouse Point Fire Chief James P. Barton. “In February 2021, the Warehouse Point Fire District also was awarded $49,714.29 in funding from the AFG-Supplemental grant for much needed COVID safety equipment. The Warehouse Point Fire District takes every opportunity to reduce the tax burden on the taxpayers and continues to strive to provide the greatest safety to the community and our fire personnel.” 

“Over the last several years, we have been systematically upgrading our radio system to ensure that our firefighters can communicate effectively and reliably in even the most difficult circumstances, and this new grant will allow us to add more, high-quality digital radios and extend those upgraded capabilities to other divisions within the fire department,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.  “We’re very grateful to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for this funding, and very grateful as well to Congressman Larson and our entire federal delegation for their tremendous partnership and strong support for the Hartford Fire Department’s grant application.” 

“It is critically important for our Hartford fire fighters to communicate effectively and reliably, even in the most hazardous of conditions. This grant will provide additional new portable radios for our fire fighters, greatly improving communications,” said City of Hartford Fire Chief Rodney Barco. “We are very grateful to Congressman Larson, Mayor Bronin, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for this funding, and to our entire federal delegation for their partnership and strong support of the Hartford Fire Department.” 

“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant provides an invaluable funding resource in support of the important services  provided by firefighters in communities across the country. This is particularly important as local tax dollars are stretched for a variety of needs and priorities. Glastonbury was fortunate to receive a grant award for new exhaust systems at town fire department buildings to improve air quality in support of protecting the health and well-being of the volunteers and others who serve the department,” said Glastonbury Town Manager Richard J. Johnson. 

“With cancer being one of the major occupational hazards faced by today’s firefighters, Glastonbury Fire has taken another step forward in making sure our members are better protected today,” said Glastonbury Fire Chief Michael Thurz. “By installing a source capturing exhaust system in each fire station, we will now be able to prevent any further spreading of the dangerous fumes that currently penetrate our common work areas and personal protective clothing.  The installation of an exhaust capturing system will bring our Department into compliance with a number of regulations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act, NFPA 1500 and building code requirements.” 

Administered by FEMA, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program has awarded funding to fire departments since 2001. The AFG program offers support to train and equip firefighters and other emergency personnel.  The three fire departments that were awarded grants join the West Hartford and Manchester Fire Departments, whose grants were announced in August. More than $1 million has been awarded to the 1st District as part of the AFG program this year.