--U.S. Senators Susan Collins, the Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and Angus King today announced that four Maine fire departments will receive a total of $1,488,479 in federal funding through the latest round of grants awarded under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) programs.
The Van Buren Fire Department will receive $20,505 to purchase thermal imaging cameras, and the Raymond Fire Department will receive $261,905 to purchase a pumper truck under the AFG program. The Bucksport Fire Department will receive $244,069 to hire two new firefighters, and the Westbrook Fire Department will receive $962,000 to hire eight new firefighters under the SAFER program.
“Firefighters across Maine work hard every day to protect the communities they serve, and they need adequate resources and training to do their important jobs,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “The investments made through the AFG and SAFER programs provide critical support to fire departments and promote the health and safety of Maine’s communities. We are delighted that these departments have been awarded this funding.”
The AFG and SAFER programs are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The AFG program was created to help assist fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations with purchasing equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources to better protect the public and emergency personnel. The SAFER program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help increase and maintain the number of trained firefighters in local communities.