Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $1.3 Million In Federal Funds For Four Central New York Fire Departments

Jul 21, 2016

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,344,696 in federal funding for four fire departments throughout the Central New York region. This funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the Canastota Fire Department in Madison County will receive $868,143 to purchase a new firetruck to transport firefighters safely. The Clinton Fire Department in Oneida County will receive $272,381 to replace the department’s 25-year-old inventory of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air packs. The Moravia Joint Fire District, located in Cayuga County, will receive $169,029 to purchase new SCBA air packs. The Sentinel Heights Volunteer Fire Department in Onondaga County will receive $35,143 to purchase a new air compressor system.

“It is critical that we provide our local fire departments throughout Central NY with the most up-to-date equipment they need to keep our citizens safe and do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense – it is crucial we provide them with the resources and cutting-edge tools they need to continue their important work of saving lives.”

“These federal funds will allow our fire departments to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and stay safe while they are protecting our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect the men and women who risk their lives every day in the face of danger, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure that our fire departments are funded and equipped.”

“The Village is pleased that our fire department is being recognized for the hard work that they do and the need for this important piece of fire-fighting equipment. It’s our continued goal to give our firefighting volunteers the necessary tools to keep them and our residents safe,” said Scott Rapasadi, Deputy Mayor of the Village of Canastota.  

“On behalf of the Clinton NY Fire Department, we would like to thank Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, for the support and assistance on our award of the AFG grant. We are extremely grateful,” said Julie Benzo, Grants Director for the Village of Clinton.

“I and everyone at the Moravia Joint District are very appreciative to receive this grant. This equipment will enhance firefighter safety. We are excited about the benefits this equipment will have for our community of Moravia.  Thank you to Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for the support,” said Bill Andersen, Fire Chief of the Moravia Joint Fire District. 

“This grant will allow us to replace our old air compressor system that is over 20 years old and has not kept up with new technology. We can also use this system to fill other surrounding departments’ cascades and SCBA bottles,” said Melissa Abend, Fire Chief of the Sentinel Heights Volunteer Fire Department.

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. Funding is allocated to strengthen the overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at