Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry and Representative Stephen F. Lynch announced today that the West Bridgewater Fire Department, in West Bridgewater, MA, has been awarded a federal grant of $110,636 under the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.  The funds will be used to purchase twenty self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA), a RIT Pak 2 and associated equipment.  The new SCBAs will replace out-dated equipment and the RIT Pak 2 will provide proper support to firefighters in need of assistance.   
Melissa Wagoner, spokeswoman for Senator Edward M. Kennedy said, “This grant means important new support for the West Bridgewater Fire Department and the surrounding area. The whole community is grateful for the strong protection these firefighters provide.”
“This funding will allow the West Bridgewater Fire Department to respond more effectively to emergency situations in the community, improving the safety of both residents and firefighters," Senator Kerry said.  "I commend DHS for giving West Bridgewater’s firefighters the resources necessary to perform their very important jobs."

 Congressman Lynch said, “This Fire Grant is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of Chief Leonard Hunt and the entire West Bridgewater Fire Department.  By working together, we were able to secure funding that will allow the West Bridgewater Fire Department to increase firefighter safety and enhance its ability to carry out its mission.”

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 2008 awards will represent a $500 million investment to enhance fire and EMS service delivery throughout the United States.

Chief Leonard Hunt said, “On behalf of the Officers and members of the West Bridgewater Fire Department, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Senators Kennedy and Kerry and Representative Stephen F. Lynch for their continued support of public safety in our town. Throughout this whole process, their guidance and input has been extremely beneficial. This much needed equipment will help to enhance our ability to protect the citizens of the Town of West Bridgewater and our neighboring communities”.