Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $236,978 in federal funding for the Harpursville, West Colesville, and Sanitaria Springs Fire Districts in Broome County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). These three fire departments will split this grant and use these federal funds to purchase a 44 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The Harpursville Fire Department will purchase 17 SCBAs, the West Colesville Fire Department will purchase 15 SCBAs, and the Sanitaria Springs Fire Department will purchase 12 SCBAs. These SCBA air-packs help firefighters breathe when in burning buildings and hazardous environments. The Districts’ current SCBAs have reached the end of their reliable life, making the Fire District’s need for new equipment especially acute.
“These much-needed federal funds will enable three Broome County Fire Departments to purchase new breathing equipment that will keep firefighters safe and make them more effective during emergency situations,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes—they are our primary line of defense and protect our residents and property. That is why it is crucial that we provide them with the cutting-edge equipment that they need to do their jobs and save lives.”
“Keeping our first responders safe has always been a top priority of mine,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This federal funding will allow three fire departments in Broome County to upgrade their equipment with state-of-the-art breathing apparatuses. With well-equipped fire departments, firefighters can respond more quickly and more efficiently to emergencies in the area.”
“We feel very fortunate to have been chosen for this highly competitive grant award. It will greatly enhance the self- contained breathing apparatus for all 3 departments in the Town of Colesville,” said Jeffrey Buckler, Fire Chief of the Harpursville 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. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.