U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $66,343 in federal funding for Limestone Volunteer Fire Department in Cattaraugus County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The Limestone Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal funding to purchase new Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBAs), or air packs. These SCBA air-packs help firefighters breathe when in burning buildings and hazardous environments.
“It is critical that we provide our fire departments with the cutting edge equipment and breathing apparatuses they need to keep our firefighters safe, so they can 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 the resources they need to continue their important work of saving lives.”
“We must ensure that our first responders who put themselves in harm’s way have the most up-to-date equipment they need to help save lives,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Limestone Volunteer Fire Company will use this funding to invest in critical equipment that will help keep them safe as they do their job protecting our community.”
“We’re a small fire department. We wouldn’t be able to afford these new SCBA’s without these grants from the Department of Homeland Security,” said Mike Soper, Fire Chief of Limestone Volunteer Fire Department. “We’ve been able to purchase a lot of new, modern equipment that gets us up to date and we wouldn’t have been able to do that otherwise.”
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. Funding is allocated to strengthen emergency preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/.