United States Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Lawrence Cedarhurst Fire Department is set to receive $166,762 in federal funding to purchase 28 self-contained breathing apparatus. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
“This much-needed federal funding will provide the assistance the Lawrence Cedarhurst Fire Department needs to purchase critical firefighting equipment like self-contained breathing apparatus. First responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property. It’s crucial that we provide our fire departments support to purchase the equipment they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability,” said Senator Schumer.
“These federal funds will allow our first responders to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect our first responders when they risk their lives, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure they are given the support they deserve.”
“I thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for supporting our department and the AFG program. The program is very beneficial to the safety of our firefighters, and now will allow us to purchase new equipment to help us better serve our community,” said David Campbell, Chief of Department.
The Lawrence Cedarhurst Fire Department serves nearly 15,000 residents and is made up of approximately eighty volunteer firemen who answer over 1,000 calls each year.
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. Gillibrand is a cosponsor of the pending bill to reauthorize the program. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, as well as 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’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. More information on the AFG can be accessed at www.fema.gov/firegrants.