Mayor Hopkins announces $3.6 Million SAFER Grant for Cranston Fire Department

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 well-equipped.”

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 officials.

 “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.”

In 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.