Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced today that the Town of Easton 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 $10,710, will be used to fund the purchase of new radio pagers.  Easton is the second community in the Ninth Congressional District to receive an award in Fiscal Year 2005.


This is the second fire grant for the Easton Fire Department in less than a year.  The Department previously was awarded $225,000 in federal funding to purchase a new Rescue/Pumper firefighting vehicle.

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 Chief Thomas Stone and the Easton 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 Easton.  I realize that the state budget situation is very difficult right now and we are working with Senator Bob Creedon and Representatives Christine Canavan, Geraldine Creedon and 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.  Easton was one of just 9 fire departments 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, "Easton’s commitment to providing its firefighters with state-of-the art equipment and training and the town’s cooperation with regional emergency officials have made them an ideal candidate for homeland security funding.  But it’s been the leadership of Chief Stone at the Fire Department that has made Easton so successful at securing these funds.”