U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $69,500 in federal funding for the Chester Fire District in Orange County. This funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. These funds will allow the Chester Fire District to improve recruitment and retention of firefighters.
“These essential federal funds will provide the Chester Fire District with the assistance it needs to attract and retain top volunteer firefighter talent,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are local heroes and primary line of defense in emergencies. They put their lives on the line every day to protect our residents, property, and community. That’s why they deserve the adequate number of staff in order to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and keep our community safe. It is vital that we provide them the support they need, and I am proud to fight for funding that supports our first responders.”
“These federal funds will help provide our firefighters in Orange County with the tools they need to respond to emergency situations,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am very pleased that this funding was awarded to the Chester Fire District; hiring additional firefighters will help the fire department better serve the community. I will continue to fight in the Senate to make sure more of our local fire departments have the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.”
“On behalf of the Chester Fire District Commissioners, I would like to thank the Senators for this federal grant,” said Commissioner John Deshler, Chester Fire District. “It will help us recruit new local firefighters and provide information to the community about our activities and public safety messages. This federal funding helps reduce the need for funding from local taxpayers.”
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER), established by FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.