Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $310,000 For Two Fire Departments In Cortland And Tompkins County

Jul 16, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $311,850 in federal funding for the Cortlandville Fire District in Cortland County and the Dryden Fire Department in Tompkins County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The fire departments will use these federal funds to purchase 70 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA).

“These much-needed federal funds will help the Cortlandville and Dryden Fire Departments purchase new breathing apparatuses that will keep firefighters safe and make them more effective during emergency situations,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding is an investment in their safety, as they protect the safety of our communities. Our first responders are our primary line of defense, and it is crucial that we provide them with the cutting-edge equipment that they need to do their jobs and save lives.”  

“The Cortlandville Fire District and Dryden Fire Department will benefit greatly from this funding,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This important investment will give these first responders access to the critical tools and equipment they need to perform more efficiently and save more lives, while protecting themselves.”

The Cortlandville Fire District is located in Cortland County and is operated by a completely volunteer force of 65 firefighters who provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the town of Cortlandville and neighboring communities. The Dryden Fire Department serves a large portion of Tompkins County and is completely volunteer run. Both stations serve a joint population of more than 22,000 residents throughout Cortland and Tompkins County and together received more than 3,000 calls per year. They will use the federal funding to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatuses to replace the current apparatuses that are more than 16 years old.

“This Assistance to Firefighter Grant will help the Cortlandville Fire Department and Dryden Fire Department replace outdated and worn SCBAs,” said Cortlandville Fire Chief Jared Gebel. “This equipment upgrade will allow our firefighters to have a reliable air supply and stay safe while protecting the citizens we serve.”

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