IPSWICH — The Ipswich Fire Department has received $15,000 to purchase communications equipment. 

The grant, awarded under the state Department of Fire Services Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program, will allow Ipswich fire to buy a vehicle mounted repeater system for two of its engines.

"Concise and clear communications between the dispatch center and fire personnel is key to a successful outcome,” Ipswich fire Chief Andy Theriault said in a statement. “The vehicle repeater system will improve portable radio coverage in those areas of town where it is lacking now.” 

The grant program allows fire departments to purchase equipment designed to make firefighters’ jobs safer, such as gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras and personal protective clothing. So far, $4 million has been awarded to departments statewide.

Ipswich is one of nearly 300 fire departments across the state and several on the North Shore to have been awarded a grant. Departments in Beverly, Danvers, Hamilton, Marblehead, Peabody, and Salem have also received grants. 

In a statement announcing the grants, state Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said the money couldn't have come at a better time. 

"With the financial challenges that COVID-19 has brought to so many Massachusetts municipalities, this grant funding will mitigate critical budget gaps in many departments,” he said. 

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