Contact: Fire Chief Christopher Norris
Easthampton Fire Department Receives $1.5 Million Dollar Federal Grant
Easthampton, MA- Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and Fire Chief Christopher Norris announced that the fire department has been awarded a Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) federal homeland security grant of $1.5 million. These funds will be used to hire four additional firefighters and will pay the full amount of salaries and benefits of these positions over the next three years.
Chief Norris stated, “This grant award is a reflection of the increased staffing needed to meet the operational service demands placed on the organization for our all-hazards response mission. This award validates that need from an outside peer review of our organizational structure, call volume, and composition of personnel. Personnel are our most valuable resource and the addition of these positions will allow the fire department to maintain staffing for fire suppression capabilities while still maintaining personnel to respond to the increasing EMS emergencies that require transportation to a health care facility.”
Upon hearing the grant news, Mayor LaChapelle said, "I want to congratulate Chief Norris and his team on receiving these highly competitive federal grants. These awards bring vital federal funding to our community while helping to offset the financial constraints in other areas of the municipal budget. I also want to thank our local, state, and federal legislative delegation for their ongoing support and advocacy for these important federal funds and grant programs.”
The SAFER grant is a nationally competitive grant that allows fire departments to apply for the hiring of new personnel or recruitment and retention of personnel. One of the main goals of the SAFER grant program is to assist fire departments to obtain compliance with national standards for fire suppression capabilities.
The Easthampton Fire Department has awarded over $2.7 million in grant awards over the last three years. The four new employees are expected to start in early spring 2024.