Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $164,328 in federal funding for the South Lockport Fire Company in Niagara County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program and will be used for a four-year recruitment campaign to help hire new firefighters and EMTs. Specifically, the South Lockport Fire Company will use the funding for traditional hiring advertisements, such as newspaper notices and mailers, as well as a social media campaign. In addition, the funding will also be used to post a billboard advertisement and LED sign on Transit Road to display recruitment material.
“Whether it’s a fire, flood, car accident, or when disaster strikes, we depend on these local heroes to keep us safe, and they depend on us to give them the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will allow the South Lockport Fire Company to grow its ranks and will help ensure that they can respond to any situation quickly and efficiently. I’m proud to announce this grant and will continue working to make sure New York’s first responders have what they need.”
“It’s vital that our fire departments have the staffing level necessary to keep our first responders safe as they respond to emergencies in our communities, and this federal funding will help the South Lockport Fire Company recruit more members to their team,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Every day our first responders risk their lives to protect us, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure our local fire departments have the support they need to do their jobs.”
“The South Lockport Fire Company is the busiest Volunteer Fire Company in Niagara County, we proudly provide Fire and EMS protection to the Town of Lockport,” said Fire Chief Benjamin J. Ripson. “Our ever increasing call volume has made recruiting new members by traditional methods (open houses and word of mouth) ineffective. The award of this SAFER Grant will enable us to recruit new members to help us better serve the Town of Lockport.”
The SAFER grant program was established by FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. More information can be found here.