U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $47,500 in federal funding for the Coxsackie Fire Department in Greene County and $74,670 for the Middleburgh Fire Department in Schoharie County. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Coxsackie Fire Department will use this money to purchase a new compressor system, which is used to fill firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA). These SCBA air-packs help firefighters breathe when in burning buildings and hazardous environments. The Middleburgh Fire Department will use most of this federal funding to purchase 25 sets of new turnout gear, including coats, pants, boots, gloves, helmets and hoods for interior firefighting. The remaining money will be used to purchase a thermal imaging camera system, which will allow firefighters to see better when they are in a smoky environment and are searching for life.
“These much-needed funds will allow the Coxsackie and Middleburgh Fire Departments to invest in the equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and save lives,” said Senator Schumer. “Making sure the brave men and women that serve in our fire departments have the resources they need has always been a top priority of mine. Our firefighters are our local heroes—they protect our residents and our property. These funds will allow those heroes to continue their important work of keeping the community safe.”
“Coxsackie Fire Department and Middleburgh Fire Department first responders put their lives on the line every day and that is why it is important to make sure they have access to critical equipment,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This investment will help ensure their safety and the safety of the community, helping the Departments save more lives.”
“This compressor will ensure the quality of air for our men and women. It will also help make the air more readily available for training purposes,” said Donald Quinlivan, 2nd Assistant Fire Chief of the Coxsackie Fire Department.
“First and foremost, every fire chief and department should be concerned about protecting themselves,” said Michael Devlin, Chief of the Middleburgh Fire Department. “With this grant we will be able to do that. There’s a mandate that requires us every 10 years to get new turnout gear. This grant ensures fire fighter safety for the next 10 years without hampering the community with taxes or increases in our budget.”
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. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.