Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $20K in Fed Funds for Chatham Fire Dept. in Columbia County

Aug 26, 2015

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $22,368 in federal funding for the Chatham Fire Department in Columbia County. This funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, this funding will be used to purchase a new extrication tool set, including cutters that help first responders quickly remove victims from enclosed spaces quickly. This system will help them replace their current 30-year-old equipment.

“It is critical that we provide our firefighters with the equipment they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense – it is crucial provide them with these cutting-edge tools they need so they can continue their important work of saving lives.”

“Chatham Fire Department will use this funding to invest in critical equipment that will help keep firefighters safe during emergency situations,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our first responders are on the frontlines during emergencies and should have the most up-to-date equipment to carry out their lifesaving work more effectively.”

“This is a tremendous aid to a small community and surprisingly, the town fire department extraction equipment is used quite a bit. The Chatham Fire Department is responsible for several thoroughfares, including the Taconic Parkway and several other highways where many accidents take place. This equipment, unfortunately, sees a lot of use,” said Assistant Fire Chief Eric Barnes.

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