February 21, 2023
CRANSTON - February 20, 2023 - Cranston Mayor
Kenneth J. Hopkins announced that the City of Cranston has been awarded an
annual three-year $1.22 million federal grant through the Federal Emergency Management
Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER)
Grant program. Awarded over three years,
this grant totals approximately $3.67 million.
The federal funds will enable the city to hire and pay
for twelve (12) new full-time firefighters for the next three years. Hopkins said the
award will allow Cranston to add a new class of recruits to the department to
help with staffing levels and aid in reducing overtime costs.
“This is great news for our fire department and all Cranston residents," Hopkins said. "It will help us maintain full
manpower and ensure the fire department continues to be well-staffed and
Mayor Hopkins continued, stating that “Adding these new firefighters will continue our high level of firefighting service
and public safety for all our citizens and businesses. Public safety and ensuring that we are
capably meeting our emergency responsiveness has been a top priority since I took
office in 2021.”
He noted that sometimes
the efforts of the police and fire departments are just assumed and go
unnoticed on a day in and day out basis.
“It’s in those critical times of emergencies and danger that our public
safety members shine in their protection of our community," Hopkins said.
The mayor expressed
sincere appreciation to Rhode Island’s congressional delegation who lent the
critical support of their offices in advocating for Cranston with FEMA
“Senators Jack Reed and
Sheldon Whitehouse and former Congressman Jim Langevin have been great partners
with us as we work on federal and local issues," he said, “I recently met with our new Congressman Seth Magaziner and I know he is
committed to helping Cranston on a broad scope of important issues.”
The mayor also congratulated Fire Chief James Warren and
his command staff for pursuing the SAFER grant. He said the fire department has recruited members from all sectors and will undertake a new training class in the coming weeks.
“This award is a direct reflection of Chief Warren’s leadership,” said Mayor Hopkins. “I look forward to
welcoming the new firefighters aboard when they complete their training.”
2022, the Cranston Fire Department responded to nearly 18,000 calls for service
from Cranston’s 83,000 residents along with mutual aid to neighboring
communities. The mayor concluded by
emphasizing the benefits of the federal funding.
“This SAFER grant will allow the Fire Department to bring its current staffing up to
full levels in order to maintain their dedicated firefighting capabilities,
reduce overtime costs, and bring relief to firefighters who must work overtime
to make up for periodic manpower reductions on some shifts,” he said.
Concluding his announcement, Mayor Hopkins also noted
that in September of 2022 the Cranston Fire Department also received a $1
million grant from the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program to fund a
new aerial ladder truck.