August 14, 2014

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce More Than $69,000 In Federal Funds For Naples Fire Department In Ontario County To Fill A Gap And Provide Needed Radios To Equip All Department Firefighters

Naples Fire Department Will Use Funds to Purchase Portable Radio Units to Allow Better Communication Between Firefighters & Other Emergency Responders; Before this Grant, Department Could Only Afford To Equip Apparatus and Chief Officers With Radios

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $69,320 in federal funds for the Naples Fire Department in Ontario County. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Naples Fire Department will use this funding to purchase portable radio units, all of which will permit better communication between emergency dispatchers and firefighters. Portable radios cost approximately $2,100 per unit, making the need for federal assistance to purchase these units particularly acute.

“These much-needed funds will allow the Naples Fire Department to finally equipment all their firefighters with the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and save lives,” said Senator Schumer. “With this funding, the fire department will now be able to provide its firefighters the radios and technology they need to communicate during emergencies. Making sure the brave men and women that serve in our fire departments have the resources they need has always been a top priority of mine, and I will continue to do whatever I can to provide our firefighters with what they need to protect life and property.”

“Updating critical equipment will help keep families and first responders safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This federal funding will allow the Naples Fire Department to replace outdated emergency communications equipment. With investments in radio units, firefighters can respond more quickly and more efficiently to emergencies in the area.”

“On behalf of the Naples Fire Department we would like to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for the assistance in acquiring the AFG grant of $69,000,” said Patrick Elwell, Chief of the Naples Fire Department. “We have applied for AFG grants since its beginning and have had limited success in being awarded, but with the help of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, we have successful with our application. We are very grateful to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their help and for their tireless efforts in representing New York State.”

This federal funding will be used to purchase portable radios for the firefighters to use while on-scene and also working with other agencies. Last year, Ontario County installed a new 700 MHz radio system to be in compliance with federal standards and interoperability. This multi-million dollar project received a county grant that allowed the Naples Fire Department to afford radios for chief officers only. Now, this federal grant will now allow the department to equip its other members as well.

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 http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.