Senator Reed Announces $452,118 in Federal Grants to Upgrade East Greenwich Fire Department’s Communications Equipment

U.S. Senator Jack Reed, in collaboration with East Greenwich Town Manager Andrew E. Nota and Fire Chief Bernard L. Patenaude, marked a significant step forward for the East Greenwich Fire Department (EGFD) today. The trio celebrated the allocation of two federal grants totaling $452,118 aimed at enhancing the EGFD’s communications capabilities and ensuring the ongoing safety of the community.

The federal funding was put to immediate use by EGFD to replace outdated communications equipment with cutting-edge technology, resulting in the acquisition of:

  • 31 Portable Radios
  • 8 Mobile Radios
  • 2 Base Radios
  • 8 Mobile Repeaters
  • 1 Radio Based Accountability System

This modernized communications system replaces an antiquated setup, promising improved operational efficiency, enhanced communication effectiveness, and the ability to precisely pinpoint the location of firefighters. The upgrade is expected to reduce radio ID confusion and facilitate the transmission of critical data to fire commanders coordinating emergency responses.

Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, emphasized the impact of the new equipment on public safety and inter-agency coordination during emergencies. He commended the Town Manager, the Fire Chief, and their team for successfully securing competitive funds through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.

“Our firefighters put their lives on the line each time they answer the call. This communications equipment will enhance public safety and make it easier for firefighters to communicate with each other during emergencies and coordinate with other emergency responders when neighboring communities send out a call for help,” said Senator Reed.

The AFG program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is designed to assist local fire departments in meeting response, equipment, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association. Senator Reed played a key role in passing the Fire Grants and Safety Act, reauthorizing the AFG program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, providing essential resources to local fire departments and first responders.

Town Manager Andrew E. Nota expressed gratitude for Senator Reed’s ongoing support, acknowledging the senator’s commitment to influencing national issues while also directly impacting the lives of Rhode Islanders.

Last year, EGFD responded to 5,328 calls within the community, including mutual aid calls from neighboring cities and towns. The state-of-the-art radios and communications equipment funded by these grants are expected to significantly strengthen EGFD’s response capabilities throughout the town and surrounding communities, ultimately bolstering the safety of local firefighters on the scene.




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