WASHINGTON – Connecticut Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) and Jim Himes (CT-4) announced Wednesday that fire departments in Branford, Poquonock, Ridgefield, and Bridgeport will receive a total of over $450,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants program (AFG). The grants will be used for fire operations and firefighter safety.

“Ensuring first responders have the latest equipment and training is crucial to protecting the public from the devastating effects of fire and other emergencies,” Lieberman said. “This assistance will keep people across our state safer and, as co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus, I am especially pleased so many Connecticut departments have received Operations and Safety grants.”

Blumenthal said, “This significant grant will enable these four fire departments across our state to purchase equipment, provide necessary training to firefighters, and modify their facilities to make certain that operations run smoothly, preparing them for the dangerous and lifesaving work of fighting and preventing fires.”

“I am very pleased with these grants and the support they will provide to our local fire departments,” said DeLauro. “These brave men and women work to protect our communities every day, and we must ensure that they have the equipment they need to do their jobs safely.”

“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,” Himes said. “I appreciate the hard work of our local fire departments and look forward to our continued work together.”

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. Since the FIRE and SAFER Acts were signed into law, FEMA has distributed 665 grants for a total of over $76 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.