Press Releases

Trahan Celebrates $4.1 Million in Federal Funding For 16 New Haverhill Firefighters

LOWELL, MA – Yesterday, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) was joined by Haverhill Mayor-Elect Melinda BarrettFire Chief Robert O’BrienState Senator Pavel PayanoState Representative Andy Vargas, State Representative Ryan Hamilton, and Haverhill city councilors to highlight $4,106,373 in funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program for the City of Haverhill’s fire department

“Today, we’re celebrating federal funding to reduce emergency response times for families in Haverhill. We’re doing this by supporting and investing in the firefighters who tirelessly and courageously have our backs every day. The least we can do is make sure they have the resources and staffing they need to do their jobs efficiently and safely,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “I’m grateful to the partnership of the Massachusetts federal delegation, Mayor-Elect Melinda Barrett, Fire Chief Robert O’Brien, State Senator Pavel Payano, State Representative Andy Vargas, State Representative Ryan Hamilton, and the Haverhill City Council who have all worked together to make sure our Haverhill firefighters receive this grant. ”

The federal investment announced yesterday will ensure that the fire department can hire 16 new firefighters and permanently staff a ladder truck at the Bradford Fire Station. For three years, the federal funding will cover 100% of the cost of the 16 firefighters’ salaries and benefits. This will mean faster response times for families in Haverhill, especially after construction of the Basiliere Bridge commences in 2025.

“This grant which my administration applied for will provide 16 additional firefighters for three years to put a manned ladder truck in Bradford.  We commend the Washington, DC professional grant writing firm we hired which was able to secure this grant after several years of no approvals. The best thing about this grant is that for the first time in our history we will have female firefighters, fulfilling a long standing goal of mine,” said Mayor Fiorentini. “The city is not obliged to keep the new firefighters when the grant expires.  It will be the responsibility of the new administration to determine how many of the new firefighters to keep once the bridge is complete and the temporary emergency situation is resolved.”

“We in the city owe a debt of gratitude to Congresswoman Lori Trahan for helping not only bring this grant home but for all her continuing efforts for the city,” said Mayor-Elect Melinda Barrett. “This funding will provide better protection for all the residents of the city as we couple this staffing grant with the acquisition of a new ladder truck.  More firefighters on scene will have a direct effect on the safety of residents and firefighters.”

"I was honored to join my colleagues in celebrating the FEMA SAFER grant secured for the city of Haverhill,” said Senator Pavel Payano (D-Lawrence). “I want to thank Congresswoman Trahan for her continued advocacy to ensure that Haverhill has the resources it needs to properly staff their fire department.” 

“The receipt of the FEMA SAFER grant will provide the additional staff required for our firefighters to continue to best serve our community. Chief O’Brien and his grant-writing firefighters' team did an excellent job putting together this proposal. I am grateful to have worked alongside our Federal and State delegation in advocating for our firefighters to receive this necessary funding,” said State Representative Andy Vargas.

“Our firefighters work tirelessly to keep our community and loved ones safe in times of immense danger and stress. It is only right that we keep them safe by ensuring access to much-needed resources and greater staffing. This grant will help the Haverhill Fire Department decrease the length of response times and better serve the needs of our community,” said State Representative Ryan Hamilton.

In October 2022, Trahan led her Massachusetts federal delegation colleagues in writing to FEMA on behalf of the City of Haverhill in support of this grant.