March 16, 2011

Gillibrand Announces More Than $80,000 For South Onondaga Fire District, Inc.

Gillibrand Pushed For Funds, Which Will Provide Much-Needed Emergency Response Equipment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $81,485 in federal funding for the South Onondaga Fire District, Inc. These federal dollars will be used by the South Onondaga District for equipment vital to the firefighter’s safety. The funding is allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“This is a great investment for Onondaga County,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal investment will help improve the fire department’s equipment, help local firefighters do their work and keep families safe. I will continue working to ensure our first responders have the tools and resources they need to keep our communities safe.”

“We are extremely grateful to Senator Gillibrand for her assistance in obtaining this vital grant to help South Onondaga meet its necessary objectives,” said Donald A. Fisher, President, South Onondaga Fire Department, Inc.  “This grant will be used to purchase extrication equipment and personal protective equipment including turnout gear for members.  It will also be used to pay for the installation of a sprinkler system in the fire station which is necessary because we have Onondaga Community College students living in the station as part of OCC's bunk-in program, and need to have this added protection for an occupied building.”

In a letter from October of last year to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate, Senator Gillibrand expressed her support for South Onondaga Fire District’s grant application. These funds, provided through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program of DHS and FEMA, will go to replacing old and outdated emergency response outfits, ensuring that Onondaga County’s first responders are fully protected from fire, chemicals and other contaminants.

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.