Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $80,218 in federal funding for Churchtown Fire Company in Columbia County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and will be used to purchase new rescue equipment and a diesel exhaust fan for the fire station, which also serves as an emergency shelter in the event of a disaster.
“These much-needed federal funds will provide the assistance that the Churchtown Fire Company needs to purchase new rescue tools and make their fire station more fit to serve as an emergency shelter. First responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property – and, in Churchtown, the fire station is also an important community institution. It’s crucial that we provide our fire departments with the support they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability and to ensure the fire station continues to be a safe place for local residents to shelter in a time of crisis,” said Senator Schumer.
“Keeping our communities safe is a top priority,” Senator Gillibrand said. “The Churchtown Fire Company is not only a fire station but a voting center and emergency shelter during disasters. When a disaster hits, the department’s new diesel exhaust fan will ensure this facility is a safe place to find shelter. This investment will also help first responders save more lives using better, more efficient rescue tools.”
“Our greatest community risk was lack of these tools,” said Daniel Kuinion, Board of Directors. “We only operate on a $200,000 a year budget so this is a huge win for us. Between Churchtown and the neighboring districts you have a significant amount of the Taconic parkway. The grant will provide the department with a complete system for vehicle intervention. The fire house also serves as a red cross shelter and a voting center, so this exhaust fan will also benefit other community members.”
The Churchtown Fire Company is located in Columbia County and serves Churchtown, Hollowville, Martindale, and the northern part of the Town of Taghkanic. It is a certified Red Cross partner organization, and is a place for shelter and emergency services in the event of a disaster. The Churtown Fire Company also serves as a voting center. The federal funding will be used to purchase new hydraulic rescue tools, which will help the fire company save more individuals who are trapped in vehicles. The funding will also be used to purchase a diesel exhaust fan for the fire house, which filters out fuel emissions, to prevent exposure to harsh diesel fumes.
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.firegrantsupport.com/ .