Grant Gets Devens (MA) Fire Equipment

The Devens Fire Department welcomed the arrival of about $200,000 worth of equipment Wednesday, compliments of yet another federal grant that Rep. Niki Tsongas is credited with supporting.

Tsongas received a lesson in the new equipment — 21 sets of “personal proper equipment” suits — from Chief Joseph LeBlanc at the Devens fire station. The equipment totaled $210,667, and was partially funded with a $200,134 from the federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.

MassDevelopment CEO Marty Jones said they are thrilled that the equipment came in.

“Obviously it wouldn’t be without the good help and support of Congresswoman Tsongas,” she said.

But Tsongas said the hard work was all theirs, noting that the department competed against many other fire departments across the country for badly needed funds.

“I give you tremendous credit that your grant application rose to the top,” she said.

The federal government has to be an engaged partner in helping supply these resources, she said.

“With the anniversary of the marathon bombing, as well as the tragic loss of lives of two firemen in Boston, we’re reminded really of how our first responders and our firefighters really do put themselves in harms way at a moment’s notice,” she said.

Tsongas has been credited with supporting federal grants for firefighters such as this one, which comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program under the Department of Homeland Security.

“As fire departments identify needs and seek grant opportunities, we’re always there to be supportive,” she said. “So what this $200,000 does is, one, it helps upgrade their equipment but it also frees up money that they can then put into other aspects of whatever they may need. And that’s what we seek to do with all the communities as they identify their needs, to be a partner with them.”

Tsongas said it was great to have a Fire Department that was able to compete and receive these funds.

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