Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $39,631 in federal funding for the Homer Fire Department to purchase new equipment that will help them respond to emergencies more effectively. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
“This is an important investment for the Homer Fire Department,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal grant will help update their equipment, and give them the resources they need to save lives. I will continue working to ensure our first responders have the tools and resources they need to keep our communities safe.”
Homer Fire Department Chief Mahlon Irish Jr. said, “The FEMA Grant program is very important to small fire departments like ours because it gives us the opportunity to upgrade older equipment that has outlived its usefully safety operational period.”
The Homer Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase 24 nozzles and 46 new hose lengths that will go toward replacing the current equipment that is over 20 years old. The Home Fire Department is made up of approximately 80 volunteers that cover an area of roughly 100 square miles that includes the Village and Town of Homer, the Towns of Scott and Summerhill, as well as a portion of the Town of Cortlandville, with a population of just over 13,000 people.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, established by FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, 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 also help provide emergency response trainings.