Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $300,000 for Capital Region First Responders

May 30, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $184,274 in federal funding for the Albany Fire Department, $136,278 and Speigletown Fire District to purchase new firefighting equipment and gear, including new self-contained breathing apparatus, air tanks and new swift water rescue suits. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

“With this funding, firefighters in the Capital Region can focus on their important work knowing that they have reliable new equipment,” said Senator Schumer. “These investments 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 with new turn-out gear.”

“This is an important investment for Capital Region firefighters,” 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.”

“On behalf of the Albany Fire Department, I am extremely honored to receive this FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant award,” said Albany Fire Chief Robert C. Forezzi. “These funds will be used to increase firefighter safety through the purchase of new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus and Air Tanks, replacing current equipment. The award will also increase our rescue capabilities with the purchase of Swift Water Rescue Suits for our Rescue Squad. I applaud Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for her tireless efforts in securing this much-needed funding and thank her for her continued support of the City of Albany.”


“Our Fire District will be using the AFG grant for the purpose of replacing our self-contained breathing apparatus,” said Speigletown Volunteer Fire District Chief William Maloney. “This grant comes at a time of great need as many of our packs are out dated and in need of replacement. Grants like this help offset the burden to our tax payers and help us deal with the constant changes in NFPA standards that strain our budgets.”

The Albany Fire Department will use the federal funds to purchase new SCBA Air Packs as well as protective equipment to replace their current outdated equipment. The new equipment will help them to better serve the City of Albany.

Speigletown Fire District will use the federal funding to purchase new SCBA Air Packs which will be used to replace obsolete models in order to increase firefighter safety as they protect the community.

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.