Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $180,000 In Federal Funding For The Cleveland Fire Department And Scipio Volunteer Fire Company In Central NY

May 20, 2015

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $143,810 in federal funding for the Cleveland Fire Department and $44,388 in federal funding for the Scipio Volunteer Fire Company to purchase new equipment. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

“It is critical that we provide our local fire companies with the funding 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 that we provide those at our Central New York fire districts with the gear and equipment they need to do their important work of saving lives.”

“We must ensure that our first responders who put themselves in harm’s way have the most up-to-date equipment they need to help save lives,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Cleveland Fire Department and Scipio Volunteer Fire Company will use this funding to invest in critical equipment that will help keep them safe as they do their job protecting our community.”

The Cleveland Fire Department will use this federal investment to replace all of the fire department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) or air-packs. The current inventory of the department’s SCBAs is nearing its mandatory replacement within the next two years.

“In today’s age of modern building construction and highly combustible furnishings and contents, it is essential that all firefighters entering a structure and/or exposed to smoke from any fire be properly protected by wearing full protective gear, including self-contained breathing apparatus,” said John R. Hinds, Assistant Chief of the Cleveland Fire Department.  

The Scipio Volunteer Fire Company will use this federal investment to re-outfit 15 first responders with protective gear.

“This is great! We really appreciate that we have this boost to buy new turnout gear.  NFTA requires that any gear over 10 years old not be used any longer and ours are at that point.  Now we will be able to save our tax payers money by using this grant to purchase new gear,” said Wayne Pettit Chief of Scipio 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.  More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at