Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $47,609 in federal funding for the Arcade Fire Department in Wyoming County to purchase a self-contained breathing apparatus air replenishment system (SCBA), and to replace the department’s water supply hose. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
In October 2011, Senator Gillibrand wrote FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate to urge the Administration to fully fund the Arcade Fire Department’s request for new equipment. A copy of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to FEMA is attached.
“This is an important investment for Arcade Fire Department,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our firefighters put their lives on the line on behalf of our safety, and we need to make sure they have the right tools for the job. This grant will help give them the resources they need so they can operate safely and efficiently, and save more lives.”
“The Arcade Fire Department is very grateful to receive this grant money and in a time when we are struggling to survive on our current budget this money will go to very good use,” said Arcade Fire Chief Tom Beiersdorf. “The volunteer fire service is critical to our community and this award will help us do our job and protect the people that live within our fire district as well as support our neighboring departments.”
The Arcade Fire Department has approximately 85 volunteer members, 28 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and 5 advanced EMTs. They provide fire protection and emergency medical services to a district covering 120 square miles, including the Village and Town of Arcade and portions of the Town of Freedom. In 2009, they responded to nearly 620 calls. The SCBA will enable the firefighters to refill air supplies directly. Currently the department travels 20 minutes to other fire departments to refill their air bottles before, during or after structural fires, vehicle fires, hazardous materials incidents, carbon monoxide alarms and other situations that require a SCBA.
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.