June 20, 2013

$600,000 Federal Grant for Holbrook Fire District, Schumer, Gillibrand, Bishop, King Announce

HOLBROOK -- Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressmen Tim Bishop and Peter King announced today that the Holbrook Fire District will receive a federal grant of $600,000 in round 31 of the FY 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

Holbrook Fire District will use the federal funding to address much needed equipment upgrades, specifically the purchase two new Base Stations. These Base Stations will replace now outdated equipment in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations requiring radio communications to migrate to narrow band channels. Narrow band radio transmissions will allow for more efficient and dependable communication between emergency responders. 

The Holbrook Fire District covers an area of over 11.4 square miles with a population of over   27, 000 residents living not only in Holbrook, but also Holtsville, Blue Point, Bayport, Sayville, and Bohemia. The Fire District is home to Long Island’s MacArthur Airport and the Ronkonkoma train station, together welcoming over a million travelers a year; eight Elementary and Middle schools; and The Northville Petroleum “Holtsville Terminal.”

“With this funding, Holbrook firefighters can focus on their important work knowing that they have reliable new communications systems,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond effectively and as safely as possible with more efficient radios.”

“This is an important investment for the Holbrook Fire District,” said Senator Gillibrand, who personally appealed to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate on behalf of the Holbrook Fire District. “Federal funding will help ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment so they can react quickly, effectively and safely to emergencies in our communities.”

“With this funding emergency responders in Holbrook will benefit from seamless communications that are absolutely critical to the safety and protection of our emergency personnel and the residents they serve,” said Congressman Bishop, who wrote a letter to FEMA supporting Holbrook’s grant application. “This investment will allow first responders to effectively provide the best possible response in any emergency situation.” 

“I understand how critical this funding is for our firefighters,” said Representative Peter King, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “These funds will ensure that the Holbrook Fire District has the necessary equipment to keep them safe and protect the Holbrook community.”

“This critical funding will afford us the ability to meet the ever changing communication environment that our first responders are up against,” said Joel Vetter, Commissioner of the Holbrook Fire District. “As seen in the recent disasters, the key to minimizing negative outcomes is capacity building within our community. As emergency service responder, emergency administrators and local government officials we need to lead our communities to be better prepared and build a culture of resilience.    The current economic climate would never allow us to provide this project, and bring the lifesaving communication technology into our region.”

Administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the AFG is designed to strengthen the nation's ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards and improve the nation's overall level of preparedness. 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 athttp://www.firegrantsupport.com/