Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $17,100 in federal funding for the City of Amsterdam Fire Department to purchase two thermal imaging cameras that will expedite search and rescue operations. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
The thermal imaging cameras allow for greater visibility during a fire, enabling firefighters to better identify the location of the fire and victims. They can also be used to identify overheated electrical appliances and other sources of fire that could otherwise go unnoticed.
“This is an important investment for the City of Amsterdam,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our first responders work tirelessly to keep our communities safe, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they have the best and most up-to-date equipment. This cutting-edge technology will allow firefighters to conduct rescue operations more effectively and efficiently, and help save more lives.”
“The Department is going to be using the funding to purchase two thermal imaging cameras which allow the firefighters to see in smoke-filled conditions,” said City of Amsterdam Fire Chief, Richard Liberti. “We have been without one for quite a while so we are very pleased.”
The City of Amsterdam Fire Department has four battalions and over 30 members, including the Chief of Department, 4 Battalion Chiefs, 8 Lieutenants and 20 firefighters. In 2008 the department responded to over 2,900 emergency incidents.
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.