Brewster Fire & Police Departments Awarded $45,650 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Grant Funding

The Baker-Polito Administration recently allocated more than $9.6 million in federal Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program (CESFP) grants awarded to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research (OGR) from the U.S. Department of Justice. More than 100 local and state public safety agencies received this funding for additional resources to further aid in preventing, preparing for and/or responding to the Coronavirus.  

With the award, Brewster Fire/Rescue will purchase a mask fit testing machine that will allow the department to conduct annual OSHA mandated fit testing of self-contained breathing apparatus facepieces and N-95 respirators. The remaining capital will be used to subsidize the disinfecting and deep cleaning of fire headquarters and department vehicles.   

The Brewster Police Department will use their portion of the award to purchase portable air filtration equipment, additional personal protective gear, and to supplement disinfecting of the police station and vehicles. “These awards to municipal departments and state agencies across the Commonwealth demonstrate our commitment to providing our police officers, firefighters, and other public safety personnel with the necessary tools to effectively serve their communities while continuing to fight a pandemic,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  

Eligible municipalities were invited to solicit up to $50,000 in total funding to benefit their police and/or fire department needs. In total, 65 fire departments and 44 police departments representing 94 cities and towns will directly benefit from the CESFP awards. “These grants will help aid local municipalities to purchase the additional safeguards necessary to protect our frontline workers against COVID-19,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Massachusetts has made great strides in slowing the spread of this virus, and we will continue to support our local heroes with the resources they need to protect themselves and their communities.” 

Brewster Fire Rescue and the Brewster Police Department are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for the opportunity to apply for this competitive grant and for the awarded funding that will be used to support the health and safety of our firefighters, rescue personnel, and police officers as we continue with our response to Coronavirus related incidents.

Baker Declares September as Emergency Preparedness Month


HYANNIS – Governor Charlie Baker has named September as Emergency Preparedness Month in the Commonwealth.

Residents and organizations in Massachusetts will be encouraged to develop plans of action should a natural disaster or emergency situation impact the state.

Information and tips will be shared by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Department of Public Health throughout the month.

The state will also highlight the work done by front line workers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a part of the campaign.

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you’ll probably find him watching Boston sports.

September is Campus Fire Safety Month

STOW, MA – State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey reminds us that September is Campus Fire Safety Month. Massachusetts has a large population of college students that fire officials and college leaders want to be fire safe whether they live on-campus, in Greek housing, or in private off-campus housing. State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Students come to Massachusetts to learn from around the country and the world, and not all of them have received the same great level of fire education in elementary and high school as our students do through the Student Awareness of Fire Education or S.A.F.E. Program.” With COVID-19 related issues, fewer students will be arriving this year, but fire officials want every student to be safe and live to graduate.

Make Fire Safety a Priority When Selecting Housing
The Department of Fire Services is joining forces with The Center for Campus Fire Safety, Boston Town and Gown Association, and the U.S. Fire Administrationduring the month of September to urge college students and their parents to make fire safety a priority when selecting housing, whether they live on- or off-campus.

Keeping College Students Safe in On- and Off-Campus Housing
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey stated, “We need the help of both students and their parents to make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are still working and exits are still clear three months from now. If you’re old enough to live on your own, you’re old enough to take responsibility for the fire safety of everyone in the building.” Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms may be working on move in day, but disabled later by tenants, putting everyone at risk.

It Could Happen to You
In the last five years (2015-2019) there have been 3,019 fires in Massachusetts student dormitories, fraternities, and sororities, with two student deaths, five civilian injuries, five fire service injuries, and an estimated $1.4 million in damages. These tragic deaths occurred in substandard and illegal off-campus housing where there were no working smoke alarms, no working carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, and victims were trapped in rooms that had only one way out.

Ostroskey said, “Parents, talk to your adult children about fire safety, and look at their housing choices, especially if you are footing the bill. Contact the local fire department about any safety issues the landlord won’t address immediately, but don’t leave your child in a home without working smoke alarms for a single night.”

Best Roommates Evah! Smoke Alarms and Two Ways Out
In 2016, a group of fire chiefs, building officials, college safety officials and campus fire safety advocates met to share strategies for enforcing fire and building codes in off-campus housing. They launched a public awareness campaign about the importance of working smoke alarms and two ways out, called “Best Roommates Evah!” Go to for more information.

In a Fire Seconds Count
“In a fire, seconds count,” says Ostroskey. “Working smoke alarms can alert students to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out, if they have two ways out and a practiced escaped plan.”

“Remember says Ostroskey, “Best Roommates Evah! Smoke Alarms and Two Ways Out.”

For a quick list of resources and links to educational materials, please go to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services website and search on College Fire Safety.

Brewster Fire Rescues Injured Hiker

On Tuesday September 1 at 1:25 p.m. Brewster Fire/Rescue was dispatched to assist a hiker who suffered a foot laceration while walking the trails in the Punkhorn section of Town. Due to a lack of cleared paths and overgrowth which limited their ability to reach the victim on foot, members of the fire department launched their Zodiac rescue boat from a landing on Seymour Pond. This enabled rescuers to quickly reach the victim who was found in the woods approximately 100’ from the southeast shoreline of the pond. Firefighters assessed and stabilized the injury and moved the patient back to the landing via the rescue boat where an ambulance transported the individual to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Fire breaks out in garage in Eastham

EASTHAM – Fire broke out in a garage in Eastham late Monday afternoon. Firefighters were called to the area of 95 South Sunken Meadow Road shortly after 5 PM. Because of multiple calls, mutual aid from Orleans and Wellfleet responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.

Eastham Fire tells Cape Wide News that they received a 911 call for smoke coming from a large, 2 story gambrel style garage. Police arrived soon after and reported a fire on the first floor with an apartment above.

Due to numerous calls going on at the time and the hot, humid conditions, mutual aid was requested. This brought the assistance of Orleans, Wellfleet, Harwich and Brewster with an ambulance from Truro.

Crews quickly knocked down the bulk of the fire but had a hard time exposing small pockets of fire in the walls and the upstairs apartment. Crews remained on the scene for approximately 2 hours until the fire was declared out. No injuries were reported.

The cause remains under investigation.


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Updated: Cooking oil spill causes traffic delays in Brewster

BREWSTER – A large oil spill caused traffic delays in Brewster. Sometime after 2 PM, the spill was affecting sections of Routes 6A, 137 and 124. Firefighters put sand down to cover the spill then a street sweeper was cleaning up. Motorists were urged to seek alternate routes. Further details were not immediately available.

Brewster Fire reports that on Monday August 25 they responded to a large cooking oil spill stretching from Main Street (Route 6A) to the Route 137/124 intersection. Firefighters, Department of Public Works crews, and the Brewster Police worked quickly to mitigate and clean up the spill. Traffic was delayed in the area for approximately one hour. Fire officials were unable to confirm the source of the spill.

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Brewster Fire/Rescue Responds to Structure Fire

At 10:31 p.m. on Sunday August 9th Brewster Fire/Rescue was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 136 Chapman Lane. On arrival Car 231 (Chief Moran) found a fire in the basement of a two story private dwelling. All occupants were reported out of the house. Firefighters were quickly able to contain and extinguish the fire in the area of origin. A cat was removed from the basement. After overhaul of the scene and removal of smoke from the residence the structure was turned back to the owners. There were no injuries. Orleans, Harwich, and Eastham fire departments provided mutual aid assistance. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.

Brewster Firefighters Rescues Stranded Rafters

At 4:58 p.m. on Sunday August 9th Brewster Fire/Rescue was dispatched to Breakwater Beach after receiving reports of a raft with two people on board having difficulty returning to shore. On arrival firefighters launched the departments Zodiac craft from the beach and were able to make contact with the individuals and bring them safely to shore.

Brewster Fire/Rescue Responds to Rollover Motor Vehicle Collision

On Friday August 7 at 2:39 p.m. Brewster Fire/Rescue was dispatched to a two car motor vehicle collision with rollover in front of 151 Run Hill Road. On arrival fire personnel found a medium sized SUV on its roof and a second vehicle with heavy front end damage in the southbound travel lane. All occupants of the vehicles had self-extricated prior to the arrival of the fire department. Two individuals were transported to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Dennis Fire provided a mutual aid ambulance and Brewster DPW assisted with a minor fluid spill.    

Brewster Fire/Rescue Receives $53,115.00 FEMA (AFG) COVID Supplemental Grant Award

On Thursday August 6th Brewster Fire/Rescue received notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that our 2019 Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) COVID Supplemental Grant Application had been approved and would receive funding in the amount of $53,115.00. In providing the award FEMA stated “after considerable consideration, the recipients project described in the narrative and details section of the application which included financial need, project description, cost/benefit, and statement of effect information was found to be consistent with the Assistance to Firefighters COVID Grant program’s purpose and worthy of an award”.

The COVID-19 Grant is a supplemental funding opportunity under the 2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The program provides financial assistance directly to eligible fire departments for critical personal protective equipment and supplies needed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the current and any potential future COVID-19 public health emergencies. The funding received by the Town will deliver reimbursement of past fire department COVID related costs and fund the future additional purchase of personal protective equipment. 

Since 2010 the department has received eight Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) awards, one Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant award, and the COVID supplemental award totaling more than 1.6 million dollars.   

Brewster Fire/Rescue would like to thank Congressman Keating, Senator Warren, and Senator Markey for their support of this vital Federal grant program and for the valuable assistance provided by their offices during this year’s application period. In addition, we would also like to thank David Parr our FEMA Region 1 Fire Program Specialist for the outstanding comprehensive and expert guidance delivered to our organization throughout the entire grant process.