Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $146,411 in federal funding for two Capital Region fire departments. The Rensselaerville Volunteer Fire Department in Albany County will receive $13,755 and the Burnt Hills Fire District in Saratoga County will receive $132,656. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Burnt Hills Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase 20 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), replacing current breathing equipment that is more than 20 years old. The Rensselaerville Volunteer Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase a thermal imaging camera and to replace turn-out gear.
“These much-needed funds will allow the Rensselaerville Fire Department to invest in the breathing equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and save lives,” said Senator Schumer. “Our firefighters are our local heroes—they protect our residents and our property. These much-needed funds will allow those heroes to continue their important work of keeping the community safe.”
“Providing critical, life-saving equipment to fire stations like the Rensselaerville Volunteer Fire Department and the Burnt Hills Fire District is a top priority,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Supporting the brave first responders who volunteer their time and efforts will enable them to perform their duties with greater ease and will help the station run more efficiently.”
“We will use the funding to replace our SCBA air packs,” said Burnt Hills Chief Michael Fowler. “This will ultimately help us by bringing the department up to current standards and providing us with newer and safer equipment.”
“We will be using the funds to buy a small thermal imaging camera and the rest of the money will be used to update our turn out gear,” said Rensselaerville Fire Department Chief Robert Tanner. “We should be able to replace at least 5 sets of turn out gear. The camera will enhance what we do now. We’ll be able to find hotspots inside the building that we couldn’t’ find before. In the unfortunate event we lose somebody, we’ll be able to find them more quickly.”
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.firegrantsupport.com/.