New London to get new lifesaving equipment

Published Sep 12, 2017 at 4:00pm

NEW LONDON — The New London Volunteer Fire Department will be able to purchase a new set of Jaws of Life thanks to a $38,000 grant from U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

Schumer, D-NY, secured $38,388 in federal funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, according to a release. New London currently has two sets of Jaws, one from the 1940s and one even older, officials said. Jaws of Life are used to cut through motor vehicles to rescue people trapped inside.

“As a small fire department, it would take us years to save up enough money to buy new equipment,” said New London Fire Chief Gene Carey.

“Last year, we received a grant to replace our airpacks, which would have cost us more than our entire operating budget for the year. This program is tremendous for all fire departments across the U.S. and I hope it continues to be funded,” 

Officials said the grants are administered through cooperation between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United States Fire Administration, both of which are part of the Department of Homeland Security. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who demonstrate the financial need in tune with the program’s priorities.

“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Schumer.

“Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense for safety and security. it is critical that we do all we can to ensure that they are well equipped and prepared to take on any emergency.”