U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $845,284 in federal funds for five Southern Tier fire departments. This funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, Sidney EMS in Delaware County will receive $14,470 to purchase a new power stretcher to replace two 15-year-old stretchers, which will allow first responders to more easily lift and assist patients with less strain and risk to themselves. The City of Ithaca Fire Department in Tompkins County will receive $45,455 to purchase a new compressor to fill up Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs; this will replace the old compressor, which is nearing the end of its useful life. The Town of Binghamton Volunteer Fire Company Inc. in Broome County will receive $222,620 to purchase a new fire engine to replace the old one, which is over 20 years old. The Short Tract Fire Company Inc., located in Fillmore, in Allegany County will receive $62,739 to purchase new personal protective turnout gear to keep firefighters safe while in burning buildings and dangerous situations. The New York State Fire Academy, located in Montour Falls, in Schuyler County will receive $500,000 for operations and safety.
“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.”
“These federal funds will allow our local Southern Tier fire departments to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and stay safe while they work,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect the men and women who risk their lives every day in the face of danger, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure that our fire departments are funded and equipped.”
“Sidney EMS is very happy to receive this funding through the AFG program. We are very thankful to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their assistance and support getting this funding, as it will go a long way in helping us better serve our community,” said Jason Gray, Sidney EMS Chief.
“We are honored to receive this grant; it is the second year in a row that we have received AFG funding, which is critical to keeping smaller, upstate departments like ours as strong as can be. We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their assistance and support in obtaining this funding,” said Tom Parsons, City of Ithaca Fire Chief.
“The Assistance to Firefighters program helps us maintain the necessary tools for firefighter safety. With this grant we can purchase state of the art equipment to keep our communities safe without having to raise taxes,” said Jacqueline McManus, Town of Binghamton Fire Captain and Secretary.
”The Short Tract Fire Company is grateful to receive this funding for new turnout gear to insure the safety of our members and serve our community to the best of our ability. The AFG program helps small, volunteer fire companies like ours obtain the resources we need to keep our residents safe, and we thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their support,” said Jeff Luckey, Allegany County Fire Coordinator and Director of Emergency Services and Member of the Short Tract Fire Company.
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/.