August 10, 2017

During Visit to Davenport Fire Department, Senator Gillibrand Announces Passage of Legislation to Provide Funding And Resources To Local Fire Departments

Final House Passage of the Bill Would Continue Vitally Important Federal Funding to Local Fire Departments across New York State

Davenport, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the passage of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program Reauthorization bill at the Davenport Fire Department. Delaware County Fire Departments have received nearly $1 million in the past few years in federal grants.

“This bill will ensure the continuation of vitally important federal funds that our first responders rely on for the training, equipment, and staffing they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect our first responders when they risk their lives to keep us safe, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure they are given the support they deserve.”

“The Assistance to Firefighter Grant program helped not only our Sidney EMS & Fire Department to purchase equipment we needed to keep up to date and help save lives, it does it for many fire departments all over the state,” said Ray Baker, President Sidney EMS and First Assistant Chief, Sidney Fire Department.  “These departments would not be able to afford this equipment without this grant and it is vital to all communities to keep this grant moving forward.”

“It is essential for our local businesses and communities that our fire departments and emergency services have up to date equipment and vehicles,” said Ray Pucci, President, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. “The AFG and SAFER federal grant programs provide funding for our first responders to buy necessary equipment and vehicles, which helps offset the cost to local property taxpayers. The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce appreciates the dedication and bravery of our first responders, and we urge Congress to pass the legislation needed to reauthorize this important federal grant program.”

"With help from funding of The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program the Delhi Fire Department has been able to replace such vital equipment as Personal Protective Equipment and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus that are necessary for firefighters safety,” said Daren Evans, Fire Chief, Delhi Fire Department. “This allows us to provide a more effective emergency response to our community while at the same time relieving some of the burden on our taxpayers from covering all of the cost. We are grateful for this support and it is important that this essential program continues to provide much needed federal funds for our local volunteer Fire Departments.”

The AFG and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act extends authorization of these programs through Fiscal Year 2023. The Senate passed this legislation last week, and it now moves to the House of Representatives.

The AFG and SAFER Grant programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 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 AFG and SAFER grant programs can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.