Fire department says thanks to officials who fund equipment

Nov 1, 2022

LAKEVILLE — U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss had the chance to do more than view firefighting equipment he and his fellow elected officials helped secure for the Lakeville Fire Department.

During a visit to the station Monday, Oct. 31 and with help from department members, Auchincloss actually tried on one item, a self-contained breathing apparatus, also known as a SCBA.

“This is the fun part’' of the job, Auchincloss said of being able to visit various towns and view the items he helped obtain funding for.

“This is a hard time to be a first responder,’’ Auchincloss said. “We owe this to you. You and your police department comrades put your lives on the line to keep us safe.’’

Lakeville Fire Chief Michael O’Brien thanked Auchincloss, State Rep. Norman Orrall and a representative from the office of State Sen. Michael Rodrigues for their support in securing funds for various types of equipment, which was on display during their visit. 

The department has received about $34,000 from the state which funded state-of-the-art wildland firefighting protective clothing and several sets of structural firefighting gear.

The department also received a $230,000 Assistance to Firefighters Grant, a competitive federal program, to replace antiquated failing personal protective equipment. 

These purchases have been “a game-changer for us,’’ O’Brien said. 

They help with what he described as the chief’s ultimate goal: Keeping the department members safe.

“The most important thing is to take care of our firefighters,’’ O’Brien said, by ensuring they stay healthy on the job and enjoy a healthy retirement. 

By using state and federal grant money, the cost of these items does not have to be borne by Lakeville taxpayers, O’Brien said.

“This is a day to say thank you,’’ O’Brien said.