Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $22,477 in federal funding for the Cowlesville Fire Company in Wyoming County. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The Cowlesville Fire Company is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that serves the residents of Cowlesville and the surrounding Western Bennington community. The funding will be used to purchase a new Bauer breathing air compressor, which will be installed in the station and will be used to refill the firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) devices.
“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the equipment they need to stay safe on the job,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our first line of defense for safety and security. By allowing the courageous firefighters of the Cowlesville Fire Company to purchase new breathing equipment, this grant will help ensure their health and safety in any emergency.”
“Firefighters risk their lives to protect our communities, exposing themselves to dangerous conditions in order to keep us all safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This federal funding will allow the Cowlesville Fire Company to purchase new equipment that will help their firefighters breathe clean air as they do their jobs. I was proud to fight for this funding and I will always work to make sure that our local fire departments have the resources they need to do their jobs.”
“Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) protect firefighter respiratory systems; it is essential for allowing us to work in hazardous environments. The grant provides equipment that can refill the air bottles in our SCBA. This means we can train frequently, enhancing firefighter safety and ensuring we are prepared to mitigate incidents in our community,” said Assistant Fire Chief John Taylor.
Earlier this year, Gillibrand wrote to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to advocate for this funding for the Cowlesville Fire Company. The full text of her letter is available here.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program is 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 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be found here.