Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $394,870 in federal funding for two Western New York fire departments. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Dunkirk Fire Department in Chautauqua County will receive $360,000 in federal funds to purchase a burn trailer simulator, which will be used to help train first responders in interior firefighting techniques. The City of Dunkirk’s current simulator is several years old and has been unusable for years, making the need to acquire training equipment for firefighters especially acute. The Franklinville Fire Department in Cattaraugus will receive $34,870 in federal funds to purchase new hoses, as well as the fittings, nozzles, and valves that link to the hose and allow for more effective firefighting. The town of Franklinville will now be able to replace its 20-year-old gear with stronger and more durable equipment that can be mounted to the town’s fire trucks.
“These much-needed federal funds will enable two Western New York Fire Departments to purchase the equipment they need to save lives and be effective during emergency situations,” said Senator Schumer. “With these funds, the Dunkirk Fire Department will now be able to purchase the state-of-the-art training simulator its needs to help firefighters develop the skills necessary to handle emergencies and save more lives. The Franklinville Fire Department will now be able to purchase the fire hoses and life-saving equipment it needs to keep the community safe. This is a major investment in our first responders, who are our local heroes and our primary line of defense. It is crucial that we provide them with the cutting-edge equipment that they need to do their jobs and save lives.”
“This is an important investment that will provide Western New York firefighters with access to state-of-the-art training and new life-saving equipment,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This funding will provide Dunkirk firefighters with the training they need to develop the skills necessary to handle more emergencies and save more lives. It will also help the Franklinville Fire Department update critical equipment to better serve their community.”
“We’re very happy about receiving this grant, for sure,” said Lt. James Hyland of the Dunkirk Fire Department. “It’s going to go a long way towards keep our firemen safe and well-trained in fighting interior fires.”
“It’s really great that we’ve received this grant. We’re very grateful,” said Jon Hyman, Chief of the Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department. It’s really important for us to have the most up to date equipment so that we can fight fires in the best way possible to keep the community and our firefighters safe from harm. We wouldn’t have been able to purchase the new equipment without it.”
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.