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LEWISTON – The Lewiston Fire Department which serves about 13,000 area residents, has been awarded a $159,828 federal grant that Fire Chief John Penzotti said will be used to purchase 30 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, which help firemen breathe in burning buildings and hazardous environments.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program was announced Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Penzotti said the new equipment “will replace our outdated, noncompliant breathing apparatuses and will be used to keep our firefighters safe on a daily basis.”

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