Hartford, CT) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) and Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT-4) announced that the Shelton Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $447,219 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration.

The Shelton Volunteer Fire Department will use the AFG to purchase 107 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, a device that provides breathable air to fighters in dangerous situations. Now, the 260-member volunteer fire department – the largest all-volunteer fire department in the state – will have a breathing apparatus for every available firefighter who would potentially respond to an emergency call.

“We congratulate the Shelton Volunteer Fire Department on receiving this competitive grant, which will allow them to better serve local residents. These firefighters, like other firefighters and first responders across the state, risk their lives daily to protect our communities from harm and they deserve to be outfitted with equipment necessary to do so,” Blumenthal, Murphy, DeLauro, and Himes said. “We will continue our work to ensure that firefighters and other first responders have the equipment and technology they need to do their jobs in the most safe and effective manner.”  

“We are pleased the government has recognized a volunteer service which provides the same level of service as other paid services. The grant will provide for and preserve the safety of our residents for many years to come,” Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti said. “The volunteers are commended for their service and dedication to the City of Shelton and its residents."   

“This grant will allow the Shelton Volunteer Fire Department to upgrade its self-contained breathing apparatus equipment and provide training for this new equipment as well,” Shelton Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman Michael Maglione said. “Ultimately, this grant will increase the safety of Shelton firefighters and allow them to perform at a greater level of service for the citizens of the city.”

"This is a tremendous award for the Shelton Fire Department, it shall directly affect firefighter safety by providing new equipment that meets the highest safety standards for air management, through the use of innovative heads-up displays within the air masks indicating air supply, higher air capacity cylinders, and improved interoperability of equipment with surrounding communities,” Shelton Fire Chief Francis Jones said.

Jones added, “I would like to acknowledge Charles Sutton and Timothy Manion of the Board of Fire Commissioners, Grants Administrator Charlene DeFillippo, and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT-4), and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) for their support and assistance throughout the application process."  
An AFG is a competitive grant awarded directly to fire departments and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public and first responders. Fire departments and EMS organizations can use these grants to purchase emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training materials. 
For more information about AFGs, click the following link: http://blumenthal.senate.gov/download/?id=c2d668fb-74e5-44b3-a853-5b5a7a36a711