U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $195,453 in federal funding for the Sparrowbush Engine Company, a volunteer fire company in Orange County. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program. This federal funding will allow the Sparrowbush Engine Company to purchase 21 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA), spare bottles, and a new compressor fill station. These SCBA air-packs in particular help firefighters breathe when in burning buildings and hazardous environments. Additionally, these funds will allow the department to upgrade its existing equipment to meet nationwide standards.
“It is critical that we provide our fire departments with the cutting edge equipment and breathing apparatuses they need to keep our firefighters safe, so they can do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense – it is crucial provide them with the resources and tools they need to continue their important work of saving lives.”
“Sparrowbush Engine Company will use this funding to invest in critical equipment that will help keep firefighters safe during emergency situations,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our first responders are on the frontlines during emergencies and should have the most up-to-date equipment to carry out their lifesaving work more effectively.”
“The SCOTT SCBAs will bring our SCBA’s to 100% compliance of the latest NFPA SCBA standard and will make our department interoperable with our surrounding fire departments. The new compressor fill station will be replacing our current fill station that is approximately 30 years old and is inadequate to meet our current needs,” said Jeremy Swingle, 2nd Assistant Chief of the Sparrowbush Engine Company. “The awarding of the grant to the Sparrowbush Engine Company not only ensures the safety of our membership it also helps alleviate a significant tax burden to our small rural community.”
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 emergency preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/.