Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $40,708 in federal funding for the City of Cortland Fire Department and $84,797 for the Virgil Fire District to purchase new equipment. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
“This is an important investment for the Cortland area’s fire departments,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When our first responders go into harm’s way to keep our families safe, it is our responsibility to make sure they have the right equipment. This grant will help give them the resources they need so they can operate safely and efficiently, and help save more lives.”
“These grant funds will have a huge safety impact to the Virgil Firefighters as well the public we serve. They will allow us to better and more safety serve the public. We sincerely appreciate Senator Gillibrand’s support for this project and the Citizen of Virgil,” said Michael Ten Kate, Fire Commissioner for the Virgil Fire District and Fire Captain for the City of Cortland Fire Department. “We Thank Senator Gillibrand for her assistance in securing these grant funds for the City of Cortland, and the City of Cortland Fire Department. With Senator Gillibrand’s assistance we are making the residents and firefighters of the City of Cortland safer than ever before.”
The Virgil Fire District will use the federal funding to purchase Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). These new packs will replace 15-year-old SCBA that are worn and do not provide the safety features of the SCBA currently available.
The City of Cortland Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST) Equipment. This equipment will be used to improve efforts to rescue their fellow firefighters who become lost, trapped or injured.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, established by DHS and FEMA, is part of an effort to increase the nation’s emergency response preparation. This program provides federal funding to first responder organizations for the acquisition of personal protective equipment, firefighting vehicles, and emergency response equipment. The funds will also help provide emergency response training to firefighters.