Franklin County police, fire departments receive $204K in grants

  • The Greenfield Fire Department received a $46,620 grant that will allow it to buy ultraviolet air sanitizers and an electrostatic disinfecting fog sprayer. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/4/2020 12:44:49 PM
Modified: 9/4/2020 12:44:37 PM

Six Franklin County towns’ fire and police departments have received a total of nearly $204,000 from the Baker-Polito Administration through federal Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program grants, allowing them to buy items that will help during and after the pandemic.

Heath Town Coordinator Hilma Sumner said the Heath Fire and Police departments received $50,000 total that will allow them to purchase and install a generator in the former Heath Elementary School, as the two departments plan to make use of the building. The grant will also allow the two departments to build a radio tower and purchase a base radio through which they can make calls to and receive calls from dispatchers and emergency personnel.

“The generator will benefit police, fire and the Emergency Operations Center,” Sumner explained. “All three will move into the school building.”

The current Fire Station has no plumbing, no running water and the air circulation is poor, Sumner said. It also has only dial-up internet (DSL), not high-speed like the school building does, so the chief can’t file some reports from the station.

“We’re one of only two departments in the state that doesn’t have high-speed internet,” she said.

Greenfield Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Robert Strahan, who is also head of the city’s Emergency Operations Center, said the ultraviolet air sanitizers and the electrostatic disinfecting fog sprayer his department will buy using its $46,620 grant will be used within the Fire Station and Police Station and in their vehicles.

“It’s very important that especially ambulances are constantly cleaned and disinfected,” he said. “We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to use this grant to maintain the safety of firefighters, police and the public.”

The Deerfield Police Department will use its $50,000 for three vehicle repeaters that will extend the range of vehicle-mounted mobile radios. With its $23,977, the Charlemont Fire Department will purchase radio accessories and two portable electrostatic sprayers, which will allow first responders to kill and disinfect viruses like COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Leverett Fire Department will buy personal protective equipment with its $23,069, and the New Salem Fire Department will use its $10,000 to purchase washable uniforms.

The U.S Department of Justice issued a total of $9.6 million in grant funding to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research, which it then distributed to more than 100 public safety agencies, according to a press release about the awards. The grants are meant to provide additional resources to further aid in preventing, preparing for and/or responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or


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