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NH Delegation Welcomes Over $700,000 in Federal Grants to Support Rural NH Fire Departments

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) -- a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee -- and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) -- a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee – announced with Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH) that $722,150.45 in Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program funding is headed to fire departments in Errol, New Hampton, Surry and Warren. The AFG program provides direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments to enhance the safety and training of firefighters and purchase needed equipment. 

The Errol Fire Department will receive $585,129.52 for a tanker vehicle, the New Hampton Fire Department will receive $42,914.28 for firefighter turnout gear, the Town of Surry will receive $49,963.80 for vehicle extrication equipment and the Warren Fire Department will receive $44,142.85 for firefighter breathing apparatus.

“Assistance to Firefighters Grants are crucial for the readiness of New Hampshire’s fire departments and I’m glad to see over $700,000 go to firefighters in Errol, New Hampton, Surry and Warren,” said Senator Shaheen. “Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities, which is why ensuring that they have the right tools to do their jobs safely and efficiently will continue to be a top priority for me as I work to pass next year’s government funding legislation.”

“Fire fighters put their lives on the line in order to protect our families and our communities, and it is critical that they have the best, cutting-edge equipment so that they can do their jobs effectively,” Senator Hassan said. “These new grants will help New Hampshire fire fighters stay safe and save lives, and I am going to keep working across party lines to make sure that all of our fire fighters have everything that they need to succeed.”

“It’s hard to overstate how critical our Granite State firefighters are in ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities – we have a responsibility to equip them with the tools and support they need to do their jobs safely,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I’m pleased to see these resources heading to first responders across the Second District to expand their vehicle fleets, purchase protective gear, and more.”

“Fire fighters put themselves in harm’s way every day while serving our communities, and ensuring they have the resources they need to do their jobs is critical,” said Congressman Pappas. “These grants will help New Hampshire fire departments secure the equipment and gear they need to keep Granite State communities safe, and I’ll keep working to improve public safety and support our fire fighters and first responders.”

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation on behalf of the entire department and the community at large of our gratitude towards the award of FEMA funds for the acquisition of a new tanker truck for the Errol Fire Department,” said Bradley Eldridge, Chief of the Errol Fire Department in a letter to Senator Shaheen. “With the Great North Wood’s rising popularity in tourism in the Granite state, this tanker acquisition is paramount to both our rescue time and effectiveness. The community should feel a sense of safety and reliability when they think of their emergency services and this new acquisition will provide just that to both our residents and those visiting the area.” 

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has consistently fought to support New Hampshire firefighters. In funding legislation for FY 2023 that was passed by Congress and signed into law, Shaheen secured an additional $370 million for the AFG program. She also included $370 million to the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) program. In total, the FY 2023 law provides a $20 million increase in funding for firefighters compared with the enacted FY 2022 funding level. In 2022, SAFER and AFG awarded a combined $5,428,280 to New Hampshire fire departments. Recently, the New Hampshire delegation announced over $1 million in AFG program funding for fire departments in Keene, Ashland, Sunapee, Campton and the New Hampshire Department of Safety.

Senator Hassan has led efforts to support New Hampshire fire fighters. She helped advance a bipartisan bill to extend the AFG program through the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and the bill recently passed the Senate. Senator Hassan has helped ensure that New Hampshire fire departments benefit from this program; for instance, Senator Hassan helped secure a grant to the Berlin Fire Department in 2022 to replace its fire engine that had been in service since 1979. Senator Hassan also successfully worked to increase funding for the AFG and SAFER programs in the American Rescue Plan that was passed into law.