Pascoag Fire District awarded $579K FEMA grant for purchase of new engine tanker

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BURRILLVILLE – The Federal Emergency Management Agency, through its Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, recently awarded a $579,337 grant to the Pascoag Fire District for the purchase of a new engine-tanker.

FEMA receives over one hundred thousand grant applications each year for the AFG program, and Deputy Chief Richard Peck has been working on securing this grant for several years, according to a release from the district. 

The competitive grant program broken down into four applicant categories: urban, combination, volunteer, and other – for EMS and training academies. Pascoag Fire Department falls under the “combination,” category and has received almost $1 million in awards since the program’s inception in 2001, including self-contained breathing apparatus, training equipment, sprinklers, fire alarm systems, computers, other miscellaneous equipment, and the new engine-tanker.

Apparatus awards account for only 10 percent of the grants in each category, and the tanker will be the first apparatus grant received by the district.

The grant process consists of an evaluation, peer review, and FEMA staff evaluation.

“The officers of this department have been working together for several years on conceptual design specifications for this combination apparatus, which will be capable of delivering 3,000 gallons of water and 25 gallons of foam with a 1,500 gallon-per-minute pump,” noted Peck in a release. “Side dump valves for water distribution will provide for quick and safe operation at fire scenes.” 

As part of the grant award, the department will also receive NFPA 1002 Pump Operator training for 25 members. 

Based on the specifications detailed in the grant, a bidding process will take place in the next few weeks, in accordance with the district bylaws according to Peck. The committee responsible for overseeing the specification and selection of the new vehicle will consist of District Fire Commission Chairperson Christopher Toti; Chief Mark St. Pierre; Capts. Thomas Smith and Scott Woodis; and Lts. Brian Venditelli, Brian Champagne, Mackenzie Beausoleil, Brian Mathieu and Andrew Peck.

The application for this grant was written in house, not by professional grant writers, which Peck said resulted in a significant cost savings to the district. 

The new apparatus will replace two vehicles in the department’s current fleet from 1990 and 1973 respectively, and will provide cost-effective and technically capable, safe, and professional equipment for the firefighters, according to Peck.

District officials thanked the FEMA AFG committee, as well the honorable Sen. Jack Reed’s office for their assistance.

Questions or further information about the grant can be directed to info@pascoagfire.org.

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