March 17, 2011

Gillibrand Announces Nearly $55,000 For Winchester Fire Department

Fire Department Applied For And Won Federal Grant To Recruit Much Needed First Responders

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $54,448 in federal funding for the Winchester Fire Department. These federal dollars will be used by the Winchester Fire Department to recruit additional first responders. The funding is allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

“This is a great investment for the West Seneca,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal investment will help improve the fire department’s ability to respond 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.”

“The Winchester Fire Company would like to thank Senator Gillibrand for making funding available for grants to organizations such as ours,” said Heather Maroney, President, Winchester Fire Company.  “This grant will help in our effort to recruit new members.  Recruitment is vital for our fire company to thrive and better serve our community.  The goal of this project is to ultimately reduce fire ground hazards due to the unsafe staffing levels and to ensure community protection from fire and EMS related hazards. New recruits will also allow our company to be able to respond faster improving our response time to community emergencies.  We will be able to accomplish this through the recruitment of new firefighters to increase the ranks of our fire department.  This will increase the number of trained and certified firefighters able to respond to our community's emergencies and our mutual aid partners communities' emergencies.  We will now be able to recruit throughout our community through the usage of billboards, inserts in our local paper, and ads in the paper. In addition we will seek out recruits with banners, and front yard signs.  The Winchester Fire Company is extremely enthusiastic that this grant will enable our company to recruit new members and allow us to better serve our community.”

The SAFER program, established by DHS, is a competitive grant program that is part of an effort to help fire departments across the country increase the number of firefighters in our communities, including re-hiring those that lost their jobs during the economic crisis. This program awards federal funding to fire departments to help them provide round-the-clock staffing to their communities from dangerous fire-related hazards.