September 18, 2013

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $40,000 Federal Grant for Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department

Funds will be used to Purchase New Jaws of Life

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department will receive $40,850 in federal funding to purchase new protective gear. The funding comes from the FY12 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

“With this funding, Plymouth firefighters can focus on their important work and will have the proper equipment to safely respond to emergencies in the region,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment for Jaws of Life extraction 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.”

“This is an important investment for Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities.  This funding will help the Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department purchase a new jaws of life so their firefighters can serve their community, and help save more lives.” 

The Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department will use the federal funds to purchase a new Hurst Tool, better known as jaws of life, and will enable the department to provide a quicker response in removing injured and trapped people from vehicles. This will replace a 20-year-old tool they currently use. 

Matthew Bates, Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief said, “I’d like thank Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for all of their hard work.  This grant will help provide improved safety for this region and we are grateful that we have received it.”  

Schumer was a 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 Grants  Operations and Firefighter Safety Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

The AFG Program assists local fire departments in programs and activities to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations through specialized emergency training for response to situations like terrorist attacks; enhancement of emergency medical services programs; development of health and safety initiatives; establishment of fire education and prevention programs; creation of wellness and fitness programs; and equipment and facility upgrades.

AFG funds 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.  More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .