Hartford, CT - U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) announced today a $965,000 federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant for the City of New Britain to purchase a new 95-foot ladder tower fire truck.
The grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. Nationwide, 12,000 applications were submitted for this fiscal year, including 4,000 requests for fire apparatuses. To date, 400 grants for fire apparatuses have been awarded to fire departments across the country.
“This grant will help replace a 31-year-old truck and provide New Britain firefighters and residents with a safer ride for first responders and state of the art firefighting technology. Our heroic firefighters and residents deserve the most modern equipment, and I am pleased to see these competitive federal funds awarded to this life-saving need,” Blumenthal said.
“New Britain’s new fire truck will be used to prevent future fire-related tragedies, and I thank FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration for recognizing the fire department’s need. Because of the funding, the city’s heroic firefighters will have more of the tools they need to continue to keep us safe,” said Murphy.
“The men and women of the New Britain Fire Department put their lives on the line every day to save others. Few jobs are more important, and we need to do everything we can to aid them in their mission. This critical federal grant will enhance the ability of these brave firefighters to respond to danger and keep families safe in the New Britain community,” Esty said.
“This grant will allow the purchase of a modern, safe ladder tower to replace a 1982 ladder tower apparatus. The acquisition of this aerial ladder will provide improved firefighter safety by allowing all personnel to ride inside the vehicle, allow more effective firefighting and rescue operations and eliminate expensive repairs to the current 31 year old truck. It will be a significant improvement to fire and emergency services in New Britain,” said Interim Fire Chief Thomas Ronalter.
"I am grateful to the federal delegation for securing these critical resources for our brave firefighters which are needed to keep our residents safe," said New Britain Mayor Timothy O'Brien.
The grant is the 20th firefighting grant awarded in Connecticut in Fiscal Year 2013. Middletown received $1.14 million to hire eight additional firefighters and Waterbury received $2.9 million to hire new fire recruits through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighters grant programs administered by FEMA. New Milford, Brookfield, Stratford, Bristol, East Woodstock, Killingly, Plainfield, Willington, Seymour, Middletown, East Hartford, Shelton, Norwalk, Torrington, Southington and Waterbury also received grants to support operations and safety measures.