U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $16,366 in federal funding for the Ogdensburg Fire Department and $14,286 in federal funding for the Richville Volunteer Fire Department. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).
“It is critical that we provide our local fire companies with the resources and tools 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 we provide those at the Ogdensburg and Richville Fire Districts with the cutting edge equipment and protective gear they need so they can continue 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. “Ogdensburg Fire Department and Richville Volunteer Fire Department will use this funding to invest in critical equipment that will help keep them safe as they do their job protecting our community.”
The grant will enable the Ogdensburg Fire Department to purchase new operational safety equipment. The Department will replace six complete sets of old protective equipment and bring the entire department up to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards concerning firefighting turnout gear. Equipment includes turnout coats, turnout pants and firefighting boots and helmets.
“This grant will fund the purchase of 6 complete sets of turnout gear which in turn will give these dedicated firefighters the updated equipment to perform their duties safely,” said Chief Michael J. Farrell. “The residents of Ogdensburg, NY will benefit with the entire department being able to respond more effectively and efficiently. By continuing to upgrade this critical firefighting equipment, the Ogdensburg Fire Department will move forward in making their city a safer place for both firefighters and the neighbors they are sworn to protect.”
The Richville Volunteer Fire Department will use this federal investment to purchase a washer/extractor and dryer to clean firefighter turnout gear. In many cases the firefighters’ gear still has toxic carcinogens emitted from the fire and needs to be professionally cleaned. This state-of-the-art machine will avoid that process and allow firefighters to have their gear cleaned in-house and, therefore, ready for the next emergency as soon as possible.
“We are very grateful that the Assistance to Firefighters Grant is available to help us purchase this equipment,” said Martin J. Hassett, President of the Richville Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. Without this program a small department like ours would not be able to do this. It’s critical to properly clean soiled turnout gear to prevent the transfer of carcinogens and biohazards to our dedicated volunteer firefighters.”
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 the overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. 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/.