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Fall River awarded $14 million in SAFER grants

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Published on Jun 22, 2012

A ceremonial presentation of a $14.4 million grant that will keep 79 Fall River firefighters employed took place Friday, June 22, 2012 at Government Center. It's the largest SAFER grant (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) ever awarded. Members of the city's federal legislative delegation joined with Mayor Will Flanagan and scores of Fire Department personnel to celebrate the grant, which will keep the department fully staffed. It was an effort that included bipartisan support with Sen. Scott Brown, who was not in attendance Friday, strengthening the effort with calls to Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, and the assistance of the city's current congressmen to make their pitches. The effort continued with U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, through his position as the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security committee, lobbying on the city's behalf. Locally, acting Fire Department Chief William Silvia made his pitch, while Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter wrote letters supporting the public safety aspect of the grant's renewal. U.S. Senator John Kerry said it took a good deal of work to convince Homeland Security officials that Fall River was worthy of the $14.4 million grant.

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