Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry and 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 $90,990, will be used to install a new vehicle exhaust extraction system in each of Easton’s three fire stations.


Congressman Lynch, with the active assistance of Chief Thomas Stone and Rep. Dave Flynn, advocated on behalf of Easton's application with the Department of Homeland Security representative, Tracy Henke.  This is the third Fire Grant that Senators Kennedy and Kerry and Congressman Lynch have helped to secure for the Easton Fire Department. 

In 2005, Senators Kennedy and Kerry and Congressman Lynch assisted in obtaining $225,000 in federal funding to purchase a new Rescue/Pumper fire truck for the Town of Easton.  Later in the same year, Easton received another Fire Grant in the amount of $10,710 to fund the purchase of new radio pagers.

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 2006 awards will represent a $485 million investment to enhance fire and EMS service delivery throughout the United States.

Senator Kennedy said, "The men and women of the Easton Fire Department serve their community with great dedication and courage, and they eminently deserve this needed support.”

"Our first responders are the heroes of our communities, and I’m thrilled that our state is getting the funding it needs to be able enhance its response capabilities,” said Senator Kerry. "I commend the men and women of the Easton Fire Department for their brave service.”


Congressman Lynch said, "This Fire Grant is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of Chief Thomas Stone and the entire 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.  By working together with Representative David Flynn, Senator Bob Creedon, Representatives Christine Canavan and Geraldine Creedon, and the Board of Selectmen, we hope that by directing these federal dollars toward local public safety needs, we will provide some relief to the local tax base.”

Fire Chief Thomas Stone said "We will use these funds to install vehicle exhaust removal systems in our fire stations. We are very pleased because this funding will help to protect our firefighters.”

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 only four fire department in Massachusetts selected in this round of awards. 


Senators Kennedy and Kerry and Congressman Lynch have 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 has demonstrated that the town is 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.”