U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the Milton Engine Company will receive $105,403 in federal grants to purchase new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs. The funding comes from the FY12 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
“With this funding, Milton firefighters can focus on their important work knowing that they have reliable new air packs, ” said Senator Schumer. “This investment 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 Milton Fire Company,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities. The new air packs will help the Milton Fire Company upgrade their emergency response equipment so that their firefighters can respond to emergencies in the community more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives.”
“On behalf of the Milton Fire District I would like to extend our gratitude to the Senators for their assistance with our FEMA grant award,” said Allan Koenig, 2nd Asst Chief, Milton Engine Company. “These funds will enable the fire district to replace much needed and improved self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Our current equipment is at the end of its useful service life and the new equipment is paramount to not only firefighter safety but also to the safety of the citizens in which we are entrusted to serve and protect. These funds will assist us in our current and long term financial goals. The district is juggling the burden of rising costs while not only being held to the 2% tax cap levy but also the loss of a major tax contributor to our school district. This award could not have at a better time.”
The Milton Engine Company will use the federal funds to replace 26 outdated SCBA breathing apparatus units. The new personal protective equipment has much improved safety features that will help to keep the Milton Engine Company firefighters safe. The Milton Engine Company is an all-volunteer fire company serving the hamlet of Milton, within the Town of Marlborough. There are over 25 active members that respond to an average of about 110 calls per year.
The AFG 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.
AFG funds 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.firegrantsupport.com/ .