Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand & Lowey Announce Over $483,000 In Federal Funds For White Plains Fire Bureau And Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps In Westchester County

May 19, 2016

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Nita Lowey today announced $361,646 in federal funding for the White Plains Fire Bureau and $121,399 in federal funding for Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps both based in Westchester County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the White Plains Fire Bureau will replace 52 air packs for the self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA), 104 air cylinders for SCBA and face masks for 152 personnel. The Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps will purchase two cardiac defibrillators/ monitors as well as 87 EMS rescue turnout coats, helmets and gloves.

“Our firefighters and EMS first-responders are our local heroes – they protect our citizens and get the sick and injured prompt care. It is critical we provide them the cutting-edge gear and support they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. ‎”With this funding, ‎the White Plains and Ossining Fire Departments and Ambulance Corps will be able to purchase the top-notch tools they need to continue their important work of saving lives.”  

“These federal funds will allow our local fire and emergency services departments in Westchester to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and stay safe while they work,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect the men and women who risk their lives every day in the face of danger, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure that our fire and emergency services departments are funded and equipped.” 

“Local emergency services providers play a critical role in protecting our neighborhoods and families,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee. “I am pleased that these two grants will better equip the White Plains Fire Bureau and the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps to respond to emergencies. As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to ensure that first responders in Westchester have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”

“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant will be used to replace our aging Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. The new equipment, which is compliant with National Standards, will greatly improve the health and safety of our members and increase our effectiveness during emergency response.  Through enhanced design modifications, the new equipment reduces physical stress, while improving safety, communications and member accountability. The AFG workshops that were hosted by FEMA, the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and the Office of U.S. Representative Nita Lowey, were of great assistance to us in preparing a successful grant application,” said White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach.


“I am thrilled that the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corp will be receiving this substantive grant from FEMA so they can continue to improve services to the those who work and live in our Town and surrounding communities that count on their quick response times and professional approach to their jobs. Our first responders are an essential part of the fabric of our community and this grant will go a long way to ensure they stay that way and get even better.  Thank you to Senator Gillibrand, Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Lowey for your advocacy for our emergency services,” said Dana Levenberg, Supervisor, Town of Ossining.


“We are extremely grateful for the AFG program which will allow us the ability to replace aging equipment and to provide OVAC with the latest tools to more effectively treat patients as well as protect our personnel,” said Nick Franzoso, EMS Director.


The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the Department’s United States Fire Administration. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program’s priorities and demonstrate financial need. Funding is allocated to strengthen the overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards.  Funding is allocated to strengthen emergency preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at