Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $30,000 for Capital Region First Responders

Feb 14, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,319 in federal funding for the Town of Ashland Ambulance Service and $29,469 for the North Granville Hose Co., Inc. to purchase new equipment. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

“With this funding, Capital Region firefighters can focus on their important work without fear for their own safety,” said Senator Schumer. “These investments for new equipment will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible to the emergencies in our communities.”

“This is an important investment for Capital Region first responders,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When our first responders go into harm’s way to keep our families safe, it is our responsibility to make sure they have the right equipment. This grant will help give them the resources they need so they can operate safely and efficiently, and help save more lives.”

“We would be amiss if we did not mention President Obama, Senator Charles Schumer and our own homegrown, upstate Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand in their roles of contributing to the receiving of these funds” Town of Ashland Ambulance Service Representative Diane Cross said. “Our own town’s people have worked very hard in preparing and obtaining the necessary paperwork for the grant, but the award would not have been possible without the assistance of the President and our Senators. Our small, rural communities struggle with raising funds that are necessary to be able to do our jobs in the EMS world. We are grateful for sure, and please be assured that the funds will be put to good use and the award will not go unnoticed.”

“We really appreciate being awarded this grant,” North Granville Hose Co. Inc. Chief Scott McCullen said.  “It means a lot to our volunteer organization and our community.  This will enable firefighter safety and that is of utmost importance to us.” 

The Town of Ashland Ambulance Service will use the federal funding to purchase new radios and pagers to enhance their communications system and capabilities for their rural ambulance service.

The North Granville Hose Co, Inc. will use the federal funding to purchase eight mobile radios and 15 pagers in order to help ensure that their volunteer organization has the appropriate equipment to respond to emergencies and keep their community safe.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, established by DHS and FEMA, is part of an effort to increase the nation’s emergency response preparation. This program provides federal funding to first responder organizations for the acquisition of personal protective equipment, firefighting vehicles, and emergency response equipment. The funds will also help provide emergency response training to firefighters.

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. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.