Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $100,000 Federal Grant for Village of Elmira Heights Fire Department

Mar 14, 2013

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the Village of Elmira Heights Fire Department is set to receive $106,277 in federal funding to purchase new personal protective clothing to replace their currently outdated clothing. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. 

“With this funding, Elmira firefighters will be better equipped to protect our communities,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment for new Personal Protective Clothing 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 Village of Elmira Heights Fire Department,” Senator Gillibrand said. “It’s our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities.  The new personal protective clothing can help the Village of Elmira Heights Fire Department respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives.” 

“We were so very glad to hear from you that we have been awarded a AFG grant from FEMA,” Elmira Heights Fire Department Chief James R. Locker said. “We have been attempting to secure grant funding through this program since it was conceived and this is the first time we were fortunate enough to be selected. The funds will be used to replace outdated Personal Protective Clothing and equipment for our firefighters.  This award will drastically improve our ability to protect the health and safety of our fifty-four volunteer firefighters, as they continue to protect the lives and property of their friends, neighbors, and families.”

The Village of Elmira Heights Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase personal protective clothing to keep the Elmira Heights first responders safe as they serve approximately 10,000 residents.

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.

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 .