Friday, August 2, 2019


$50,000 Measure Funds Personal Protective Equipment 

Boston- Firefighters in Boxford will be receiving state funding for the protective clothing they wear, known as “turnout gear,” as a result of amendments added to the state’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget Boxford’s state legislative delegation. Those amendments came as a result of joint efforts by state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) in the Senate, State Representative Tram T Nguyen (D- Andover) and Representative Lenny Mirra(R- West Newbury) in the House.

Boxford’s state legislative delegation successfully championed amendments to both the House and Senate budgets, and as a result, $50,000 will be made available for the purchase of units of protective gear necessary for Boxford’s full-time and on call firefighters to respond to emergencies.

“This particular initiative is intended to protect Boxford’s firefighters who regularly put themselves in harm’s way in order to save lives and protect property. Turnout gear is one of the most important things that can protect them from serious harm,” said Senator Tarr. “That’s why it’s important for the state to partner with towns like Boxford to meet the costs of purchasing gear that can cost as much as $12,000 for each set.”

“Our first responders serve the community in many incredible ways, which is why I am proud to have worked with the state delegation to obtain $50,000 in local earmarks for Boxford’s Fire Department,” said Representative Nguyen. “With this money, our firefighters will be able to purchase turnout gear necessary to combat fires and save lives. We are very thankful for their dedication to public service and know that this funding will benefit the entire town!”

"The safety of our firefighters is of utmost importance to all of us, so I'm happy and proud to have worked with Representative Nguyen and Senator Tarr in securing these funds for their turnout gear,” said Representative Mirra. “We want our safety personnel to return safely to their families every time they're called out to help us."

A growing body of research indicates that turnout gear must be cleaned after each use in a fire scene, in order to address properly the exposure to toxins and contaminants that can pose serious health risks to the wearer. In order to achieve this, and maintain necessary readiness status, departments most often must purchase and maintain two sets of gear for each firefighter. That, in turn, translates into a major expense because the cost of one set of gear can be as much as $12,500.

Ironically, flame retardant fabrics and materials such as carpeting and furniture, while treated chemically to slow flames, burns hotter and off gasses chemicals which are cancer-causing when ignited. Access to a second set of personal protective equipment is rapidly being seen as imperative.