Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $325,764 in federal funding for the Chili Fire Department to purchase new air packs to upgrade their safety and operations. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
“This is an important investment for the Chili Fire Department,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Our firefighters put their lives on the line on behalf of our safety, and we need to make sure they have the right tools on the job. This grant will help them give them the resources they need so they can operate safely and efficiently, and save more lives.”
Chili Fire Department Grant Committee Member Kevin Higgins said, “The money is going to be used to replace 67 of our existing air packs, which firefighters use when they enter into buildings. These air packs contain air bottles and spare air bottles with compressed air used to breathe. Maintenance costs on old SCBA were rising and some parts were no longer available so we will be using the money to purchase new ones.”
The Chili Fire Department is supported by approximately 180 volunteer firefighters and serves the Town of Chili, a population of 28,000.
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.