Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, and Maloney Announce $2.4 Million Investment for Newburgh Fire Department

Sep 19, 2013

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced today that City of Newburgh will receive $2,400,000 to hire fifteen new firefighters. Although their grant application was initially denied, the Newburgh Fire Department will now receive this important investment through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program- Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER).

“With these funds, Newburgh residents can rest easy knowing even more firefighters stand at the ready to protect their community,” said Senator Schumer. “The Newburgh Fire Department’s new hires will ensure that our local heroes have even more personnel on their team and can work as efficiently and effectively as possible to save lives.”

 “This is an important investment for the Newburgh Fire Department,” Senator Gillibrand said. “These federal resources will help keep more firefighters on the job so in times of emergencies, we’ll be ready to respond, keep our community safe, and help save lives.”  

“Working step-by-step with Newburgh Fire Department, we cut through red tape and secured this strategic investment that not only creates jobs, but adds valuable personnel to make our community safer. Every day, our first responders in Newburgh and across New York put their lives on the line to protect our families, homes, and businesses – this investment gives our heroes the support they deserve,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.   

“The City of Newburgh Fire Department is excited to receive its first SAFER grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The grant will allow the fire department to return to daily staffing levels that were last seen in the 1970s and early 1980s. Not only will this grant improve the overall safety of the city’s residents and firefighters, it allows the fire department to further improve the quality of life in Newburgh through greater code compliance efforts,” said Chief Michael Vatter, Newburgh Fire Department.

“I’m pleased that the collaborative efforts between The Greater Newburgh Partnership (GNP), City of Newburgh Fire Department and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney have resulted in this announcement. GNP is working with the city of Newburgh to write grants and develop programs that result in a revitalized city. While the addition of 15 new firefighters is a huge win, it is really the underlying  vision and leadership of Chief Michael Vatter, who has cross trained his fire fighters to serve as much needed code officers. The collaboration between the private sector, municipality and elected officials is a win-win for all of us,” said Sue Sullivan, Founding Executive Director of the Greater Newburgh Partnership.

The goal of the SAFER grant program is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire related hazards. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security 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.  More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at .