Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $280,000 for Central New York Fire Departments

May 8, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $288,963 in federal funding for Central New York Fire Departments. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).

“These much-needed federal funds will provide the assistance that our Central New York fire departments need to replace critical firefighting equipment like the oxygen tanks and masks they use when running into a firefight, and the fire hoses and deck guns they use to put fires out. First responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property. It’s crucial that we provide our fire departments support to purchase the equipment they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability,” said Senator Schumer.

“This is an important investment for our fire departments across Central New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “When our first responders go into harm’s way, it’s our job to make sure they have the right equipment to save lives. This funding will provide critical tools and resources our firefighters keep our families safe.”

The Fayetteville Fire Department will receive $212,268  in federal funding to replace aging breathing equipment used in firefights. is a combination fire department, serving a population of 44,460 throughout the rural area of Onondaga County, about 6 miles east of Syracuse. According to the Fayetteville Fire Department, they will be able to purchase roughly 42 new SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) units, which include oxygen tanks, masks and face pieces, to replace their current stock which is 14 years old. In addition, the Fayetteville Fire Department provides mutual aid assistance to an additional 57 fire departments throughout Onondaga County as part of the NYS Fire Service Mobilization and Mutual Aid Plan. Older SCBAs cause delays in response time and are heavy and tiresome for firefighters to manage.

The McGraw Fire Department in Cortland County will receive $19,095  in federal funding for to replace an aging and deteriorating fire hose and also purchase a new water gun for one of their fire trucks. According to the McGraw Fire Department, their current fire hose is 17 years old, past its 10-year warranty, and has been breaking down quicker than they have been able to fix it. An all-volunteer department, the McGraw Fire Department serves a total population of 4,958 people across McGraw, Freetown, Cortlandville and Solon. Their current hose is seventeen years old and shows signs of deterioration like dry rot, tearing and abrasions of outer jackets. 

The Baldwinsville Fire Department will receive $57,600 to purchase four new chest compression devices that will reduce fatigue and provide more effective CPR administration. These new devices will also allow for continuous CPR during patient movement and transport.

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand wrote letters urging FEMA to make each of these important investments.

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 .