Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced today that the Town of Bridgewater has been awarded a Fire Grant from the Department of Homeland Security and United States Fire Administration (USFA).  The federally-funded award, in the amount of $95,400, will be used to purchase vehicle exhaust extraction systems for two fire houses, which will protect the firefighters from harmful carbon monoxide fumes. 


The new exhaust systems will be installed at the Main Station on School Street and Station 2 on Plymouth Street.  Bridgewater is the fourth community in the Ninth Congressional District to receive an award in 2005.


Funded by Congress, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is designed to increase the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, EMS programs, and Fire Prevention and Safety Programs, and fund the purchase of new firefighting equipment.   The total of all 2005 awards will represent a $650 million investment to enhance fire and EMS service delivery throughout the United States.

Congressman Lynch said, "This Fire Grant is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of Deputy Chief John Nelson, Lieutenant George Rogers and the entire Bridgewater Fire Department.  They have demonstrated the ability to adapt and respond to new threats and to do what it takes to protect the families of Bridgewater.  I realize that the state budget situation is very difficult right now and we are working with Senator Mark Pacheco and Representative David Flynn to come up with ways to get us through these tough economic times.  I hope that by directing these federal dollars toward local public safety needs, we will provide some relief to the local tax base.”

More than 20,000 fire departments - volunteer and career - applied for grant awards this year, submitting requests totaling almost $2.5 billion. A lengthy peer review, involving 300 fire service representatives from throughout the United States, was conducted by the USFA over the past several months.  Bridgewater was the only fire department in Massachusetts selected in this round of awards. 

Congressman Lynch has been working closely with each of the cities and towns in the Ninth Congressional District on their applications for federal grants under the Fire Act, and additional funding for first responders made available after September 11th.  Lynch added, "Bridgewater's commitment to providing its firefighters with state-of-the art equipment and training has demonstrated that the town is an ideal candidate for homeland security funding.  But it's been the leadership of Deputy Chief Nelson and Lieutenant Rogers at the Fire Department that has made Bridgewater so successful at securing these funds.”