U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $959,455 in federal funding for the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department in Dutchess County. The City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department will invest the funds to expand its emergency personnel by hiring seven new firefighters. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
“These much-needed federal funds will provide the assistance the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department needs to maintain and expand its fire department. Our first responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property. That’s why it is crucial we provide them the support they need to hire an adequate number of staff so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability and keep the community safe,” said Senator Schumer.
“This federal funding will enable the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department to hire more firefighters,” said Senator Gillibrand. “When we’re able to maintain and create positions for first responders, we can respond to more emergencies and help save more lives. I will continue working to ensure our first responders have the tools and resources they need to carry out their lifesaving work more effectively.”
“On behalf of the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department, I would like to thank FEMA for the awarding of the SAFER grant to hire seven new Firefighters in the City of Poughkeepsie,” said Mark W. Johnson, Chief of City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department. “This grant would not have been possible without the help of Senator Schumer and Congressman Maloney, who have been instrumental in obtaining this most needed financial assistance.”
The City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department, supporting a community of 33,000 located in Dutchess County, responds to over 5,000 calls per year. This funding will help to alleviate the current threat of an understaffed team of first responders that the City of Poughkeepsie faces. The funding of additional positions will increase firefighting efficiency and first responder safety by fielding a full response team, bringing the department up to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations in order 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.