Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $42,400 in federal funding for the City of Niagara Falls Fire Department to provide crucial training courses and equipment from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for their first responders to help improve response to emergencies. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
“This is an important investment for the Niagara Falls Fire Department,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that our first responders have the most up-to-date training and equipment. With improved training, our first responders can respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives.”
“We have applied for numerous grants over the years, and it’s great to have been successful in this instance,” Niagara Falls Fire Chief Thomas Colangelo said. “Fire grounds survival training is essential for the department, and this program will provide the department with the equipment and guidance we need to provide this training internally, and will save us money over time.”
The City of Niagara Falls Fire Department serves an area spanning approximately 17 square-miles in Western New York, protects 56,000 residents, nearly 15 million visitors, and answers over 4,000 calls annually. The Niagara Falls Fire Department will use the federal funds to provide a “Training the Trainer” course from the IAFF for their first responders, which focuses on fire grounds survival techniques. All equipment necessary for the continuation of training by Niagara Falls Fire Department members will be provided under the federal funding.
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.