Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $285,000 in federal funding for the Watkins Glen Fire Department. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Watkins Glen Fire Department will use these federal funds to purchase a new fire tanker truck. These tanker trucks are necessary when firefighters face situations where there are no fire hydrants and they must bring their own resources to put out the fire.
“Our first responders are our local heroes—they are our first line of defense and protect our residents and property,” said Senator Schumer. “Making sure the brave men and women that serve in our fire departments have the resources they need has always been a top priority of mine. These funds will allow our local heroes to continue their important work of keeping the community safe.”
“This federal funding will greatly benefit the Watkins Glen Fire Department” said Senator Gillibrand. “With the new and updated equipment, the Watkins Glen Fire Department will be able to serve their community more efficiently and effectively.”
“The money will help the department fill a void that we have had for the past 10 months by replacing a 1986 Tanker that has been out of service since October of 2013 due to service and safety issue,” said Fire Chief Judson Smith. “It also helps out other departments in our county, as this truck will be called on by them for Mutual Aid at their scenes.”
The Watkins Glen Fire Department was founded in 1862 and is located in Schuyler County. It is operated by a completely volunteer force who provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the Village of Watkins Glen, town of Dix and town of Reading.
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.