Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $24K In Fed Funding For Belgium Cold Springs Volunteer Fire District In Central New York

May 22, 2015

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $23,810 in federal funding for the Belgium Cold Springs Fire District in Onondaga County. This funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The money will be used to purchase a washer for firefighters to clean their gear after fires. In many cases the firefighters’ gear still has toxic carcinogens emitted from the fire and the clothing needs to be professionally cleaned. This state-of-the-art machine will avoid that process and allow firefighters to have their gear cleaned in-house and, therefore, ready for the next emergency as soon as possible.

“It is critical that we provide our local fire companies with the resources 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 provide those at the Belgium Cold Springs Fire District with the equipment and machinery needed to clean their gear after a fire to rid it of toxic carcinogens and potential health risks, so they can continue to do their important work of saving lives.”

“We must ensure that our first responders who put themselves in harm’s way have the most up-to-date equipment they need to help save lives,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Geneva Fire Department will use this funding to purchase critical life-saving equipment that will help them during emergency situations.”

“Our job is to provide public safety, while also looking out for the safety of our members,” said Chris Evans, Chief of Belgium Cold Springs Volunteer Fire District.

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