U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $2,061,516 in federal funding for the City of Newburgh Fire Department in Orange County. The City of Newburgh Fire Department will invest the funds to expand its emergency personnel by hiring new firefighters. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
“These much-needed federal funds will provide the assistance the City of Newburgh Fire Department needs to maintain and expand its fire department. Our first responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property. That’s why it is crucial we provide them the support they need to hire an adequate number of staff so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability and keep the community safe,” said U.S. Senator Schumer. “Back in 2013, I was proud to help secure the funding needed to hire 15 additional – and desperately needed – firefighters for the City of Newburgh. Now, we can ensure Newburgh can hire additional first responders so they can continue their important, life-saving work.”
“These federal funds will help the brave men and women in the Newburgh Fire Department do their work effectively and safely,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten 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 have the equipment and resources they need to keep their communities safe.”
In April, Schumer and Gillibrand renewed their push to secure federal funds for the City of Newburgh’s Fire Department. The Senators previously wrote individual letters to FEMA urging to renew this funding prior to the expiration in May. Initially, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand secured $2.4 million in 2013 to hire 15 additional firefighters. Funds were allocated through FEMA’s SAFER Grants Program. The funding of additional positions will increase firefighting efficiency and first responder safety by fielding a full response team, bringing the department up to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
The Newburgh Fire Department provides fire and emergency response services to the City of Newburgh and other mutual aid response areas in Orange County. They respond to situations at critical infrastructure in the nearby region, including the CSX railroad, Newburgh Beacon Ferry and Bridge, Stewart International Airport, the Hudson River, and the Petroleum Port of Newburgh. Without the renewal of SAFER funding, the Newburgh Fire Department risks 12 layoffs, jeopardizing the safety of Newburgh’s citizens and firefighters.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.