U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $634,016 in federal funding for the City of Ithaca Fire Department. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. This funding will allow the City of Ithaca Fire Department to expand its emergency services capabilities by hiring four new firefighters.
“Whether it’s a fire, flood, car accident, or when disaster strikes, we depend on these local heroes in Ithaca to keep us safe, and they depend on us to give them the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “The addition of four new professional firefighters will help the City of Ithaca Fire Department reverse several years of cuts, and ensure it can respond to any situation quickly and efficiently. I’m proud to announce this grant and will continue working to make sure New York’s first responders have what they need.”
“These federal funds will help provide our firefighters in Ithaca with the tools they need to respond to emergency situations,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am very pleased that this funding was awarded to the Ithaca Fire Department; hiring additional firefighters will help the fire department better serve the Ithaca community. I will continue to fight in the Senate to make sure more of our local fire departments have the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”
“We have been aggressive in our pursuit of federal funding. This funding helps keep local taxes down, and Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand have been our invaluable allies in Washington DC. This grant, which will keep Ithacans safer, is only the latest example of our successful partnership,” said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick.
“I first want to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their continued support for the funding of the Federal Government’s Fire Grant Program. The SAFER Grant awarded to the City of Ithaca, will fund 4 firefighter positions for the next two years. This funding will help the City of Ithaca return the career firefighter staffing of the Fire Department to the levels employed before 2012. Ithaca’s Firefighters are dedicated to keep its community safe, making Ithaca a great place to live,” said Tom Parsons, City of Ithaca Fire Chief.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER), established by FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.