May 22, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $25,000 for Valhalla Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Westchester County

Federal Funding Will Help Valhalla Volunteer Ambulance Corps Purchase a New In-House Oxygen System, Allow Them to Make & Store their Own Oxygen Tanks

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $24,687 in federal funding for Valhalla Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Westchester County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and will be used to purchase a new in-house oxygen system.

“These much-needed federal funds will provide the assistance that Valhalla Volunteer Ambulance Corps needs to replace critical equipment like their in-house oxygen system. First responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property. It’s crucial that we provide support to our first responders to purchase the equipment they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability,” said Senator Schumer.

“This is a critical, life-saving investment for the Valhalla community,” said Senator Gillibrand. “When our first responders go into harm’s way, we need to make sure they have the right equipment to save lives. This funding will provide the critical tools the Valhalla Volunteer Ambulance Corps needs to better serve local residents.”

“Valhalla Ambulance is thrilled to be informed that it will receive the Assistance for Fire Fighters (AFG) grant for the purchase of a Mobile Oxygen Generator System (MOGS),” said Steven Marello Captain, Susan Briggs Grant Coordinator. “This will allow our organization to no longer rely on outside contractors to supply us with oxygen needed to treat our patients. Valhalla Ambulance recognized this need during super storm sandy when we were forced to transport oxygen dependent patients to the hospital because we could not keep up with their oxygen demands. Valhalla Ambulance also plans on sharing the use of this system by refilling the portable oxygen tanks carried by our local Police & Fire Departments.”

The Valhalla Ambulance Corps depends on more than 80 members and volunteers to provide 24/7 service. It has served the community since 1961. The federal funding will be used to purchase an in-house Mobile Oxygen Generating System, which is used to recycle air by drawing oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere into the system. This funding will allow the Corps to save money and create safer, more efficient operations by allowing the Corps to make and store their own oxygen tanks. This new system will better prepare the first responders in the region to handle an emergency. The Valhalla Volunteer Ambulance Corps will share this oxygen system with two local fire departments, the police department, as well as any other entity that might need it.

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/ .