Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $40,128 in federal funding for the Village of Speculator Volunteer Fire Department in Hamilton County. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) and will be used to purchase new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE is designed to protect firefighters from serious injuries resulting from contact with chemical, physical or electrical hazards during fires. This equipment includes respirators, gloves, blankets, gas masks, as well as turnout gear. Turnout gear, also called bunker gear, consists of a coat, pants, boots, helmets and a hood for interior firefighting. Much of the Speculator Fire Department’s equipment has reached the end of its reliable life, making its need for new protective equipment especially acute.
“With this funding, the Village of Speculator Fire Department will be able to purchase the much-needed protective gear they require to effectively do their jobs,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense. It is crucial that we provide them with the cutting-edge equipment they need to do their important work and save lives.”
“This is such an important investment for the Speculator Volunteer Fire Department,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our first responders put their lives on the line every day and it is important we make sure they have the equipment they need to keep families safe while protecting themselves. Updating critical equipment helps ensure the safety of our firefighters and the entire village.”
“We have such a dedicated fire group here. They work very hard to raise funding through alternative means such as grants and fundraisers, which really helps ease the burden on village tax payers,” said Letty Rudes, Mayor of the Village of Speculator. “We are absolutely thrilled this is money we will be saving in our budget.”
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. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.