April 25, 2013

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $300,000 Federal Grant for Andover Fire Department; Investment Means Vital Equipment for First Responders

Funds For Andover FD Will Be Used to Purchase New Radio Equipment

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that the Andover Fire Department will receive a $303,789 federal grant in Round 23 of the FY12 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. The Andover Fire Department will use funding to purchase portable radios and base radios for three local fire stations and pagers for firefighters.

"With this funding, Andover-area firefighters can focus on their important work knowing that they have reliable new equipment,” said Senator Schumer. “These investments will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible with more efficient radios both at the station and on the rig.”

“This is an important investment for Andover Fire District,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that our first responders have the most appropriate equipment necessary to serve our communities. This new radio equipment will help these firefighters combat fires safely and more efficiently, and help save more lives.”

Schumer was an original sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of this funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program assists local fire departments in programs and activities to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations through specialized emergency training for response to situations like terrorist attacks; enhancement of emergency medical services programs; development of health and safety initiatives; establishment of fire education and prevention programs; creation of wellness and fitness programs; and equipment and facility upgrades.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the Department's United States Fire Administration. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program's priorities and demonstrate financial need.  More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .