U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced nearly $300,000 in federal funding for four fire departments across Western New York. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). AFG funds are typically distributed to fire departments with equipment needs that exceed their budget. In Yorkshire and Portville, the funds will be used to purchase updated self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA) units. In Hinsdale, the department is set to acquire two mobile defibrillator packs and two chest compressors, outfitting both ambulances administered by the department.
The four fire departments whose applications for funding were approved are:
- Yorkshire Fire District ($59,730)
- Little Valley Fire District ($99,485)
- Hinsdale Fire Department ($36,124)
- Portville Fire District #1 ($78,153)
“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense for safety and security—it is critical that we do all we can to ensure that they are well equipped and prepared to take on any emergency.”
“These federal funds will allow our first responders to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect our first responders when they risk their lives, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure they are given the support they deserve.”
“We desperately needed new SCBAs and these new units are going to make sure our firefighters are safe from harm. This is an absolutely critical program,” Brendan Clark, Yorkshire Assistant Fire Chief said.
“This funding is absolutely critical. Twelve new SCBA units is a big deal. This is going to help keep our guys secure, for sure,” said Jeffrey Latten, Portville Fire Chief.
“As a fire department we do many more EMS calls than we do fire calls. These devices, one for each ambulance, will help us provide a much better response to the constituents in our district and provide better care in the future,” Kelly Karst, Hinsdale Fire Chief said.
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.