Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced today that the Town of Walpole 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the amount of $171,245, will be used to fund Rapid Intervention Training (RIT) and also to fund the replacement of 21 outdated Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and an outdated compressor.


Congressman Lynch, with the active assistance of Chief Tim Bailey, advocated on behalf of Walpole's application with the Department of Homeland Security representative, Tracy Henke.  This is the second Fire Grant that Senators Kennedy and Kerry and Congressman Lynch have helped to secure for the Walpole Fire Department. 

In 2004, Senators Kennedy and Kerry and Congressman Lynch assisted in obtaining $159,906 in federal funding for the Town of Walpole to fund modifications needed to bring a second fire station into full-time operation and create a firefighter training room.

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 to 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, "This grant provides needed and well-deserved federal assistance to the courageous Fire Fighters in Walpole who do so much to protect their community. We owe our first responders all the support they need, and I commend the Department of Homeland Security for providing these funds."

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


Congressman Lynch said, "This Fire Grant is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of Chief Tim Bailey and the entire Walpole 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 Walpole.  Working together with Senator Jim Timilty, Representatives Bob Coughlin, Richard Ross, John Rogers and Lou Kafka 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.”

More than 20,000 fire departments 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.  Walpole was one of only three fire departments 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, "Walpole'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 Bailey at the Fire Department that has made Walpole so successful at securing these funds.”