U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $26,995 in federal funding for the McConnellsville Volunteer Fire Department. This funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the McConnellsville Volunteer Fire Department will use these federal funds to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) as well as a filling station to fill the air packs. The filling station in particular will allow not only the McConnellsville Department’s bottles to be refilled, but also allow neighboring fire departments to utilize this critical resource.
“With this funding, the first responders of the McConnellsville Volunteer Fire Department can focus on their important work knowing they have new, reliable and protective equipment,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work as effectively and safely as possible.”
“This federal funding will allow the McConnellsville Volunteer Fire Department to purchase the most up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and safely when responding to emergencies,” 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 continue fighting for resources to make sure that our fire departments are funded and equipped.”
“Securing the Assistance to Firefighters Grant will increase our safety and operational effectiveness. This grant allows benefits to the community, the department, and neighboring departments,” said Benjamin Armstrong, Chief of the McConnellsville Volunteer Fire Department.
McConnellsville Volunteer Fire Department is a rural department located in Oneida County. It consists of approximately 30 all-volunteer members. The department serves mainly rural residential communities and the businesses that support them.
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.fema.gov/firegrants.