SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Fire Department plans to update equipment for its bomb squad with grant money it received from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
The Fire Department has been awarded a $92,736 Emergency Management Performance Grant, an annual award that assists municipalities with preparing for all hazards.
The grant has been accepted by the Fire Department and is currently a budget item for the Springfield City Council’s Monday night meeting. Following its approval, the funds will be deposited with the city treasurer in their own account.
According to documents in City Council’s Monday night meeting agenda packet, it will require a $72,735.50 match from the city for “in-kind services or costs” if passed.
City Council President Jesse Lederman said the grant will likely be approved.
“(It is a) routine grant approval,” Lederman said. “We’ll make sure we fully understand the commitments of the grant and as long as all that is in order, (we) should see an approval on Monday.”
Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi said the department will spend $80,000 on explosive ordinance disposal bomb suits and $12,580 on a new portable X-ray generator for the bomb squad.
Calvi said the grant is “a great funding source for cities and towns to be able to access for different projects that benefit the community in terms of emergency response and preparedness for large-scale events in emergencies.”
He added that Fire Department staff members have done an outstanding job.
“I’m just proud of the team we have here and the work they do,” Calvi said. “This enables us to provide the citizens of the city with a better service.”
Because the Emergency Management Performance Grant is an annual grant recieved by the Fire Department, Calvi said staff members typically address their strengths and weaknesses before applying.
Calvi said the department is seeking another grant to purchase a firefighter’s Jaws of Life, a tool used to remove victims trapped in wrecked cars. Calvi said he could not disclose the amount the department is requesting since the application had just been submitted.
Source: Mass Live