Congressman Stephen F. Lynch announced today that the Town of Norwood 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 $192,598, will be used to update vehicle voice communications systems, implement GPS technology and install a computer-aided dispatch system.


Congressman Lynch, with the active assistance of Chief Michael Howard, advocated on behalf of Norwood's application with the Department of Homeland Security representative, Tracy Henke.  This is the third Fire Grant that Congressman Lynch has helped to secure for the Norwood Fire Department. 

In 2002, Norwood was awarded $93,831 to fund firefighter training and equipment.  In 2004, Norwood received $188,181 to fund the purchase of rapid intervention packs and improved turnout gear.  The most recent grant, at $192,598, is the largest so far.

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.

Congressman Lynch said, "This Fire Grant is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of Chief Michael Howard and the entire Norwood 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 Norwood.  By working together with Rep. John Rogers, Helen Abdallah Donohue 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 - 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.  Norwood was one of only three 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, "Norwood'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 Howard at the Fire Department that has made Norwood so successful at securing these funds.”