Halifax Fire Chief Jason Viveiros got quite a present as he approaches his first anniversary of being named Fire Chief in Halifax on August 4 – he received notification Tuesday that the Town has been awarded a $ 714,210 grant from the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program for a new ladder truck.
Halifax will pay a minimum matching sum of $35,710.50, or 5%.
“I have a lot of people to thank for this,” Viveiros said. “Everything we do here is a team effort.” He went on to explain how much support he received from his Captains and Administrative Assistant Patricia Forsstrom who researched the grant and compiled the statistics. Writing the grant took many, many hours of work, he said. Selectmen, Town Administrator Charlie Seelig, and other town officials, all wrote letters of support.
“We applied for the grant Dec. 2, 2014 … we knew it was a long shot but never lost hope,” he said. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. William Keating, and Sen. Edward Markey directly supported the grant application, he said. “I can’t thank them enough.”
“Halifax townspeople knew we needed a fire truck, and they supported us. They voted the first of five lease payments of more than $160,000 each for the next five years. Now those funds can be repurposed for other needs,” he said.
Viveiros added that last Friday, the department credited another “save” with the new Lucas Automatic Chest Compression machine each ambulance is now equipped with, thanks to another $24,000 grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
“You can go for a year an not have a save, but to have two in a week? That’s incredible.”