ASHLAND – The Town of Ashland Fire Department has been awarded $731,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security to hire up to four additional firefighters as part of the competitive Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
The grant will pay for a significant portion of the salary and benefit costs for up to four additional firefighters/paramedics over the next three years.
The SAFER program enhances local departments’ staffing and deployment capabilities so they may more effectively respond to emergencies. The Ashland Fire Department responds not only to structure fires but provides critical emergency medical services to the town.
“The department is very excited for this news”, said Fire Chief Keith Robie. “We have been working very closely with the Town Manager over the recent years to increase our manpower. This grant is a great opportunity for the town and the Ashland Fire Department. The opportunity to increase manpower on each shift will help us provide better service to our residents along with increased safety for our firefighters.”
Town Manager Michael Herbert pointed out that Ashland is one of only eleven Massachusetts communities to receive a SAFER grant this year., “I am extremely proud of the Ashland Fire Department, especially Lieutenant Matt Boland, for their work putting together such a competitive application. Their professionalism is exhibited not only in the work they do in the field, but in the administration and management of their department as well.”
The SAFER grant is another example of the Town of Ashland leveraging grant and other external funding to provide quality services to the Town of Ashland. Since 2013, the Town has received over $13 million in grant funds for both operational and capital improvements.
“I would also like to recognize Senator Markey and Senator Warren, as well as Congresswoman Clark, for their advocacy and assistance in obtaining this grant. They have been steadfast champions for public safety throughout the state”, Town Manager Herbert said.