U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $653,728 in federal funding for the Fishers Fire Department in Ontario County. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The federal funding will allow the Fishers Fire Department to hire four new firefighters, increasing the Fishers Department’s staff. Having joined forces with the Victor Fire Department in the fall of 2015, the Fishers department is severely in need of an increase in full-time staff. Currently, the department has 8 volunteer and 17 paid firefighters.
“These crucial federal funds will give the Fishers Fire Department the assistance it needs to run its fire department as smoothly as possible,” said Senator Schumer. “These local heroes are our first responders, and primary line of defense. They risk their lives every day to protect our residents, property, and community, throughout not only Fisher, but in collaboration with other fire departments throughout Ontario County as well. They deserve the adequate number of staff in order to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and keep our community safe. It is vital that we provide them the support they need, and I am proud to present them with this SAFER grant.”
“These federal funds will help the brave men and women in the Fishers Fire District do their work effectively and safely,” said Senator Gillibrand. “They put their lives on the line every day, and it’s our responsibility to make sure they have what they need to protect the people around them while also protecting themselves. I was proud to write a letter of support for these vitally important federal funds, and I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure more of our local fire departments have the equipment and resources they need to keep their communities safe.”
“As the Chief of the Fishers Fire Department since 2012, unfortunately I have witnessed an alarming reduction in Volunteer Firefighters in our department. This has driven the hiring of Career Firefighters in order to maintain a ready force to be able to protect our area properly and to be able to assist our neighboring departments. This SAFER grant will allow the Fire District to fund additional hiring that will increase our on duty staff, further increasing the capability of the Fishers Fire Department. Together with the Volunteers we do have we will work together to protect our area. Being awarded this SAFER grant couldn’t of come at a better time for us as we continue to try to keep up with the rapid growth in our area. Thank you to Senator Schumer for his continued support,” said Andy Stromfeld, EMT and Chief of the Fishers Fire Department.
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.