Poquetanuck Fire Department in Preston receives $120,000 federal grant

Preston — The Poquetanuck Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded a $120,000 federal grant to purchase what U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, called “life-saving” vehicle extraction equipment.

The Assistance to Firefighters’ Program grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency was announced Thursday by Courtney’s office.

“The Poquetanuck Volunteer Fire Department deserves major congratulations for successfully applying for these federal grant dollars,” Courtney said in a news release on the grant. “These federal grant awards are highly sought after across the country these days, so it’s great to see the resources coming home to us here in eastern Connecticut.”

Preston fire Chief Thomas Casey welcomed the grant, especially at a time when the fire department budget increased by 200 percent to hire enough per-diem part-time firefighters to cover shifts when volunteers are not available.

“These federal funds couldn’t come at a better time,” Casey said in the news release. “The Town of Preston’s emergency services are going through some difficult changes right now — the budget is strained, but we’re in dire need of this equipment. This grant award gives us the ability to procure the tools we need, and I’m proud of our team for putting together a successful application.”

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