Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $642,314 in federal funding for the Huguenot Fire Company to be used for the Orange County Battalion 8 Fire Companies to purchase new radios to improve communication among firefighters. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
“This is an important investment for the Orange County Battalion 8 Fire Companies,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This federal grant will help give first responders here the technology they need to communicate more effectively during an emergency, keep our communities safe, and save more lives.”
“This grant is a huge asset for the Battalion,” said Huguenot Fire Chief, Thomas Kalin. “It will allow the local fire departments to have the same radios so we can better communicate with each other. It will improve both public safety and the safety of our firefighters.”
The Orange County Battalion 8 Fire Companies includes the Cuddebackville, Huguenot, Port Jervis and Sparrowbush Fire Companies with 140 volunteers. Together, these fire departments cover an area of 75 square-miles, serving a population of approximately 20,000 in Orange County, and responding to approximately 1,400 calls annually.
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.