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The Day – Published May 19. 2016 9:12PM | Updated May 19. 2016 11:23PM

The Flanders Fire Department will a receive federal grant of $185,715 from the Department of Homeland Security to buy new breathing apparatuses for firefighters, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Second District, announced in a news release Thursday.

The funding will be made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Awards for Operations and Safety.

The Mansfield Fire Department also will receive a grant of about $243,334.

“This grant funding is good news for our local fire departments that can use these federal funds to purchase life-saving equipment for their firefighters,”  Courtney said in a statement. “Our [first responders] put their lives on the line each and every day to protect our homes and our communities, and we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to provide them with the appropriate equipment to keep them safe.”

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is part of an effort to improve the nation’s preparedness to respond to fire emergencies and other related hazards, according to the release.

The federal grant will not only provide firefighters with much needed, up-to-date emergency equipment, but it will go a long way in saving the taxpayers of East Lyme “a necessary expense,” Jim Levandoski, Chief of the Flanders Fire Department, said in a statement. “The Self Contained Breathing Apparatus that will be purchased will help firefighters safely enter environments that would otherwise not be accessible.”