March 15, 2013

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $250,000 Federal Grant for Arlington Fire District

Funding Through FEMA’s SAFER Program Will Assist Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Programs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced today $237,800 in federal funding for the Arlington Fire District to improve recruitment and retention programs. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program.

“With these funds, Arlington residents can rest easy knowing even more firefighters stand at the ready to protect their community,” said Senator Schumer. “With the Arlington Fire District’s new recruits, our local heroes will have the personnel back on their team to work as efficiently and effectively as possible to save lives.”


“This is an important investment for the Arlington Fire District,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When we’re able maintain and create positions for firefighters, we can respond to more emergencies and save more lives. Helping our first responders maintain safe and efficient levels of staff will undoubtedly help to keep our communities more safe.”

“Our volunteer firefighters and EMTs are a key component to the overall operations of the Arlington Fire District,” Fire Captain William A. Steenbergh said.  “They work side by side with our career firefighters and paramedics to provide the highest levels of service and protection to our community.  This grant will allow us to improve our recruitment and retention programs, develop new programs for attracting high-quality volunteer applicants, and better prepare those who do join for their duties as firefighters or EMTs.  We are grateful to the Department of Homeland Security for selecting our application for funding in this highly competitive grant program.”

Located in the Town of Poughkeepsie, the Arlington Fire District is comprised of four Fire Company’s located throughout the town and is supported by both career and volunteer firefighters. The Arlington Fire District will use the federal funding to improve recruitment and retention programs to bolster their numbers and attract more high quality applicants.  

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER), established by FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations 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 NFPA and OSHA.