Haverhill Fire Department secures $4.1 million FEMA grant for new firefighters

December 1, 2023
grant funding

Congresswoman Lori Trahan, alongside Haverhill’s city officials, recently celebrated a significant federal grant for the city’s fire department.

The $4,106,373 grant, provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, is aimed at enhancing emergency response services in Haverhill.

Enhanced emergency response and staffing

The grant will allow the Haverhill Fire Department to hire 16 new firefighters and sustain a ladder truck at the Bradford Fire Station.

This strategic addition comes ahead of the anticipated construction of the Basiliere Bridge in 2025, which is expected to affect local response times.

The FEMA funding will cover the total cost of these firefighters’ salaries and benefits for three years, ensuring more efficient and safe operations.

First female firefighters in Haverhill’s history

A notable aspect of this initiative is the inclusion of female firefighters in the department for the first time, fulfilling a long-standing goal.

Mayor Fiorentini emphasized the significance of this milestone and the city’s non-obligation to retain these positions post-grant, leaving future staffing decisions to the incoming administration.

Community and political leaders’ reactions

Mayor-Elect Melinda Barrett expressed gratitude towards Congresswoman Trahan for her efforts in securing the grant.

Senator Pavel Payano and State Representatives Andy Vargas and Ryan Hamilton also acknowledged the positive impact of the grant on community safety and firefighter resources.

FSJA Comment

The allocation of $4.1 million in federal funding to the Haverhill Fire Department marks a crucial step in enhancing emergency response capabilities and public safety.

This grant not only signifies an increase in firefighting resources but also marks a progressive change in the department with the introduction of female firefighters.

It reflects a broader commitment to diversity and gender equality in public safety roles.

The collaboration between local and federal authorities demonstrates a unified approach to addressing community needs, especially in preparing for upcoming infrastructure changes that could affect emergency response times.

Such investments are essential in ensuring that firefighters have the necessary support to perform their critical roles effectively and safely.

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