Two local volunteer fire companies have received approvals for their federal grant applications to acquire firefighting equipment.
Botsford Fire Rescue, at 315 South Main Street (Route 25) has received approval for $99,988 to buy portable fire radios, and Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company #1, 34 Hawleyville Road (Route 25), has received approval for $37,487 to buy breathing apparatus for firefighters, according to a statement from US Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-5th District).
The grants are being awarded to the two fire companies under the terms of the federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant program (AFG), which is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The town has five volunteer fire companies.
The grant announcement for Botsford and Hawleyville is the second grant announcement for Newtown’s fire companies in less than a month.
In mid-August, it was announced that the Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Company had received approval for a FEMA grant for $107,540. That company will use its grant for 13 air masks and spare air supply equipment for firefighting.
Ms Esty said August 29 she was “incredibly proud to announce that two fire departments in Newtown are receiving grants.
“We need to ensure that our firefighters and first responders have the equipment necessary to carry out their lifesaving missions,” she said.
“These funds to both the Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Department and Botsford Fire Rescue will help keep Newtown safe,” she added.
“The Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company #1 is proud to receive the Assistance to Firefighters grant,” Hawleyville Fire Chief John Basso said in the statement.
“The Hawleyville fire company embarked on a mission to upgrade their air packs five years ago. The receipt of this year’s grant brings us closer to our goal of upgrading all our air packs. This enables all first-due apparatus in Hawleyville to utilize these units to the benefit of the firefighters and public we serve,” he said.
“The officers and members the Botsford Fire & Rescue Company very much appreciate the grant we are receiving this year,” Botsford Fire Chief Wayne Ciaccia said in the statement.
“The money received will enable the fire company to purchase much needed portable radios that are needed in our daily operations and surrounding mutual aid calls,” he said.
Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company and Botsford Fire Rescue have been serving Newtown since 1925 and 1949, respectively.
Since 2001, the AFG program has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fires and fire-related hazards.