February 14, 2013

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $125,000 for Rochester/Finger Lakes Fire Departments

Federal Funding for the City of Watkins Glen Fire Department, and the Ridge-Culver and Kendall Fire Districts will be used to Upgrade Safety and Operations

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $46,585 in federal funding for the Ridge-Culver Fire District to purchase a refilling station for their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), $53,200 for the City of Watkins Glen Fire Department to purchase an SCBA air compressor system along with fire resistant gear, and $27,313 for the Kendall Fire District to purchase a thermal imaging camera and bailout materials. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

“With this funding, greater Rochester and Finger Lakes area firefighters can focus on their important work without fear for their own safety,” said Senator Schumer. “These investments for new SCBAs and Thermo Imaging Cameras will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible to the emergencies in our communities.”

“This is an important investment for Rochester and Finger Lakes area fire departments,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When our first responders go into harm’s way to keep our families safe, it is our responsibility to make sure they have the right equipment. This grant will help give them the resources they need so they can operate safely and efficiently, and help save more lives.”

“Funding will be used to purchase a refilling station for our self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).  When the tanks are empty, we have to send them out to be filled, so this SCBA will help us in having  in-house filling capabilities, especially important in emergency situations,” said Bo Sulyma, Ridge Culver Fire District Commissioner

“The grant money is going to be used to buy an SCBA air compressor system for the fire station that will generate the air we need to breathe.  We will also be purchasing around 40 sets of light duty turnout gear used for automobile extrication and technical rescues.  This gear is fire resistant and lightweight, helping our firefighters as they work in the field,” said Watkins Glen Fire Department Chief Dominick Smith.

“We will be using the funding to purchase a thermal imaging camera and bailout materials, such as pulleys, carabineers and ropes, which will ensure that each firefighter has their own personal bailout package and will be prepared when they enter a site,” said Kendall Fire District Chief Michael Schultz.

The Ridge-Culver Fire District will use the federal funding to purchase a refilling station for their SCBA.  The refilling station will giving the Ridge-Culver Fire District in house filling capabilities, enabling them to better serve the 16,000 Irondequoit residents.

The City Watkins Glen Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase an SCBA air compressor system for the fire station, and fire resistant, light duty turnout gear.  The compressor system and fire resistant equipment will allow the fire department to fill any size air bottle in the station, and maneuver around sites more efficiently.  

The Kendall Fire District will use the federal funding to purchase a thermal imaging camera and bailout materials.  Bailout packages containing items such as carabineers and ropes will increase the safety of firefighters.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, established by DHS and FEMA, 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 will also help provide emergency response training to firefighters.

Schumer was an original sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of this funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.