U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $137,429 in federal funding for the Madrid Volunteer Fire District in St. Lawrence County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the Madrid Volunteer Fire District will use the federal funding to purchase Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs for firefighters, as well as replace aging Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help keep firefighters safe while responding to emergencies.
“It is critical that we provide our local fire departments with the most up-to-date equipment they need to keep our citizens safe and do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense – it is crucial we provide them with the resources and cutting-edge tools they need to continue their important work of saving lives.”
“These federal funds will help the brave men and women in the Madrid Volunteer Fire District do their work effectively and safely,” said Senator Gillibrand. “They put their lives on the line every day, and it’s our responsibility to make sure they have what they need to protect the people around them while also protecting themselves. I was proud to write a letter of support for these vitally important federal funds, and I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure more of our local fire departments in the North Country have the equipment and resources they need to keep their communities safe.”
“We are really appreciative of the FEMA grant program. We apply every year and are very appreciative of the support. For a rural community, these grants allow us to acquire the new equipment we need which allows us to provide a higher level of service to the community while keeping firefighters safer. Thank you,” said Ted Schulz, Chief of the Madrid Volunteer Fire District.
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. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.