Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $126,401.90 in federal funding for two fire departments in the Southern Tier. Specifically, the City of Elmira Fire Department in Chemung County will receive $49,640 to replace old vehicle extrication equipment, which is used in hazardous materials incidents and helps rescue people from confined spaces. The Brooktondale Fire District in Tompkins County will receive $76,761.90 to replace old self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). Gillibrand sent a letter of support urging the Department of Homeland Security to approve of the funding for Brooktondale Fire District.
“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the equipment they need to stay safe on the job,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders in the Southern Tier and across the state are our local heroes and our first 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.”
“I am proud to announce this funding for fire departments in Elmira and Brooktondale,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Every day, our first responders face dangerous conditions as they protect our communities. I will always fight to make sure that our local fire departments have the resources they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently.”
“The Brooktondale Fire District greatly appreciates the grant that we’re receiving from FEMA to replace outdated equipment. It will ease the burden of the taxpayers of the Brooktondale FD,” said Brian Turk, Chief, Brooktondale Fire District.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 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. The funding will be used to support the operations and safety of fire departments, which could include providing professional training, purchasing wellness programs equipment and personal protective equipment, and upgrading facilities and supplies. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be found here.