WASHINGTON—Connecticut Senators Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes announced Thursday that the Bridgeport Fire Department will receive $120,515 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grants provide funding to projects that improve the safety of citizens and firefighters.
“Emergencies are unfortunate realities, but through public safety education we can help train communities to prevent them, respond more effectively, and build resilience in their aftermath,” Lieberman said. “This grant will help provide smoke detectors and teach local children how best to respond to crises, empowering them to take part in the safety of their communities.”
Blumenthal said: “Fire safety and prevention remain some of the most critical investments that we make in order to protect Connecticut communities. This grant underscores ongoing support for our brave firefighters who serve in Bridgeport and across the state of Connecticut.”
Himes said: “As the largest city in Connecticut, we all benefit when Bridgeport has the resources to protect the families, businesses, and infrastructure of the city and surrounding towns. Amidst the current heated discussions about federal spending, we need to remember that public safety programs like these fire grants are an absolutely critical piece of keeping America and its citizens safe.”
Lieberman has a long history of advocating for fire safety. In 2000 and 2003, respectively, he was a cosponsor of the FIRE and SAFER Acts and on March 10, 2011, introduced the Fire Grant Reauthorization Act of 2011, legislation that reauthorizes the AFG and SAFER programs for five years. That bill was passed by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Lieberman, on May 18. Since the FIRE and SAFER Acts were signed into law, FEMA has distributed 651 grants for a total of over $72 million in Connecticut to help fire departments strengthen their response capabilities. Lieberman is also a Co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus for the 112th Congress.
Blumenthal has fought to ensure the fair provision of survivor benefits to the spouses and families of police officers and firefighters who have been injured, or lost their lives, in the line of duty.