(Hartford, Conn.) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.), and U.S. Representative John Larson (D-Conn.) announced that the Drakeville Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $9,500 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Fire Administration.
The Drakeville Volunteer Fire Department will use the AFG grant to purchase two thermal imaging cameras, a device that allows firefighters to see inside a burning building and around or through walls and other infrastructure. For example, if a firefighter enters a burning building with a thermal imaging camera, he or she can see exactly where the heat sources and fires are, determine the temperature of the room and if it’s safe to enter, and better identify human bodies.
“We congratulate the Drakeville Volunteer Fire Department on receiving this competitive grant that will allow them to better serve local residents. There are few investments more critical than supporting our firefighters and first responders who put their lives on the line to protect our communities. This grant will provide the support necessary to ensure that Drakeville’s firefighters are able to do their jobs in the most safe and effective manner,” Blumenthal, Murphy, and Larson said.
“I’m very proud that the Drakeville Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded this grant. They are highly deserving of this recognition and these thermal imaging cameras will be a great tool to help keep our first responders and residents safe,” Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham said.
“Grants like these are important for the department and city so that we can focus our monies on firefighter safety items, maintenance and repair of equipment currently in service and the upkeep of the building and grounds! This grant will allow us to replace an 11-year-old camera currently being used by the department and another to keep in our second apparatus. Thanks to this grant, we will be prepared regardless of which vehicle responds,” Drakeville Fire Chief Michael Maccalous said.
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.