Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $620K In Federal Funds For Two Capital Region Fire Departments

May 18, 2016

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $624,149 in federal funds for two Capital Region fire departments. This funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the Troy Fire Department in Rensselaer County will receive $523,491 in funds to purchase new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs for firefighters. It will also use these funds to provide training to firefighters looking to become paramedics; this funding will cover the costs of paramedic school, with little to no costs to the City of Troy. The City of Watervliet will receive $100,658 in funds to purchase new vehicle extraction tools, including a powerlift stretcher system and a new pediatric treatment kit.


“It is critical that we provide our local fire departments with the most up-to-date equipment they need to keep our citizens safe and do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense – it is crucial we provide them with the resources and cutting-edge tools they need to continue their important work of saving lives.”


“Our first responders are on the frontlines during emergencies and this federal funding would allow the Troy Fire Department and City of Watervliet Fire Department to invest in critical protective equipment for first responders to carry out their lifesaving work,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our firefighters should have the most up-to-date equipment when they respond more effectively to emergencies.”

“This grant to a distressed city as the City of Troy will allow us to increase the amount of paramedics that we have in the City of Troy and it came at a great time. It is great to have Senator Schumer as a partner helping out the Upstate Communities,” said Eric McMahon, Chief of the Troy Fire Department.

“Funding made available to the City of Troy through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is critical to strengthening the Troy Fire Department’s firefighting capabilities. This grant will provide for necessary training and essential equipment upgrades which will ensure the safety of our firefighters while enhancing emergency services for our residents. We are grateful for the support of Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand and thank them for their advocacy and commitment to public safety in the City of Troy and across New York State,” said City of Troy Mayor Patrick Madden.


“It is difficult to express the impact the assistance to Firefighters grant program has had on the city of Watervliet. Without this program the capabilities, effectiveness and level of safety we operate with on a daily basis would not be possible. This grant money will go towards new vehicle extrication tools, a power lift stretcher system for our ambulance, video laryngoscopes and a new pediatric drug box/ treatment kit. The extrication tools will replace old outdated equipment, the power lift kit will reduce injuries from lifting and moving patients and the laryngoscopes and pediatric drug box/treatment kit will enhance our level of care on the most stressful and difficult EMS calls,” said Robert Conlen, Chief of the Watervliet Fire Department.

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