Congressman John Tierney today joined fire chiefs, grant writers, and other fire department personnel from across the 6th District for a Grants Workshop with special guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Following FEMA's recent announcement of funding for the 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, Congressman Tierney organized today's workshop to ensure our cities and towns have the resources necessary to compete for these critical federal funds.
"The first responders who serve our communities risk their lives whenever called upon to protect our families. In an emergency, it is vital that they have the necessary resources to respond immediately and effectively. Today's workshop was intended to help provide our cities and towns with the resources needed to apply for and receive competitive federal funds. In the past year, I have been pleased to announce millions of dollars in funding for our local fire departments to upgrade radios, purchase safety equipment, and even buy a new fire truck. I look forward to continuing my efforts to support our first responders and working to ensure they have the resources needed to stay safe and protect our communities," Congressman John Tierney said.
In years past, many communities across the district have submitted successful applications. In 2011, local fire departments across the district received a total of $1.41 million in funding and in 2010 they received $2.74 million.
"The turnout for today's class is testament to the importance of the AFG program. Departments everywhere are struggling to find the resources they need just to keep firefighters on the trucks. Without the funding by Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the training by FEMA personnel like David Parr, departments wouldn't be able to afford necessary equipment to protect themselves and those they serve," said Beverly Deputy Fire Chief Peter O'Connor.
"Today's AFG Grants Workshops was very helpful and informative. Thank you to Congressman Tierney and his staff for their work to plan it," said Boxford Fire Chief Kerry Stickney.
"I am very thankful for the invitation by Congressman Tierney to today's workshop. The AFG grant is very competitive and I feel the information and training I received today will give the Peabody Fire Department an advantage in the formatting and submission of a competitive grant application as well as a greater chance of success of being awarded a much needed grant in the category of "Operations and Safety'," said Peabody Fire Chief Steven E. Pasdon.
"The FEMA workshop was very helpful as it gives me new insights as far as how to increase my chances for a successful grant application. Dave Parr is able to take a subject which could tend to be dry and inject life into it," said North Andover Fire Chief Andy Melnikas.
"This class, presented by David Parr, gave me information and suggestions that made me and all the other fire service professionals present, twice as likely to be successful in the future. Thank you Congressman Tierney for your unwavering support and help in making today a resounding success for the Massachusetts Fire Service," said Saugus Fire Chief James l Blanchard.
"Once again Congressman Tierney has taken the lead and organized a very informative and disciplined approach on how to archive maximum success for the federal fire grants. He was extremely fortunate to have David Parr as the programs facilitator as he is a gifted and relevant speaker. Thank you," said Topsfield Chief Ron Giovannacci.
The grant writing workshop was held on Tuesday, June 5 at the Wakefield Public Safety Building. More than 45 fire chiefs, grant writers and other fire department personnel from across the area were in attendance.