April 30, 2013

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $30,000 Federal Grant for Ogdensburg Fire Department

Funds to Upgrade Dispatch and Portable Radios, Outdated Equipment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the City of Ogdensburg Fire Department is set to receive $28,612 in federal funding to upgrade dispatch and portable radios, and outdated personal protective equipment. The funding is allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. 

“With this funding, Ogdensburg firefighters can focus on their important work knowing that they have reliable new equipment,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment for turnout gear and radios will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible.”

“This is an important investment for the Ogdensburg Fire Department,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities.  The new, upgraded equipment will help the Ogdensburg Fire Department respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives.” 

Ogdensburg Fire Department Chief Michael Farrell said, “The Assistance to Firefighters Grant through FEMA couldn't have come to the Ogdensburg Fire Department at a more opportune time. With all City Departments spreading their budgets thin, this funding will help the City of Ogdensburg and their taxpayers afford this essential equipment when times are extremely tough with the economy in Northern New York.  Adding these radios and Turnout Gear will keep the Ogdensburg Fire Department running effectively and efficiently for the City of Ogdensburg.” 

The Ogdensburg Fire Department will use the federal funds to upgrade the department's dispatch radio and portable radios for all firefighters. The additional funding will replace outdated personal protective equipment, including helmets, turnout coats, turnout pants, boots and gloves to meet safety standards and ensure all firefighters have the maximum protection.

Senator Schumer was an original sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of this funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program assists local fire departments in programs and activities to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations through specialized emergency training for response to situations like terrorist attacks; enhancement of emergency medical services programs; development of health and safety initiatives; establishment of fire education and prevention programs; creation of wellness and fitness programs; and equipment and facility upgrades.