Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $700,000 for Rochester-Finger Lakes Fire Departments

Jun 11, 2014

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced over $700,000 in federal grant money for three Rochester-Finger Lakes are fire departments. Specifically, the Canandaigua Emergency Squad in Ontario County will receive $445,274, the Fishers Fire District in Ontario County will receive $168,150, and the Bennington Volunteer Fire Company in Wyoming County will receive $97,546. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Canandaigua Emergency Squad will use these federal funds to purchase 16-18 new in-ambulance and 30-35 portable radio systems for the Canandaigua, Phelps and Naples fire districts; purchasing these radios will eliminate any communications difficulties with their 911 call center, and improve their ability to respond to any emergencies at the Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center. The Fishers Fire District will use these funds to purchase 25 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA). The Bennington Volunteer Fire Company will also be using these federal funds to purchase 17 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA). These air-packs help firefighters breathe when in burning buildings and hazardous environments.  

“These much-needed federal funds will help three Rochester-Finger Lakes and Wyoming County fire departments upgrade their radio communications systems and purchase new breathing apparatuses that will keep firefighters safe and make them more effective,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property. It’s crucial that we provide them with the cutting-edge equipment what they need to do their jobs and save lives.”

“This is such an important investment for the Rochester-Finger Lakes and Wyoming County regions,” said Senator Gillibrand. “When our first responders go into harm’s way, it’s our job to make sure they have the right equipment to save lives. This funding will provide the critical, up-to-date equipment these fire fighters need to protect themselves and keep our families safe.”

“This will completely eliminate communications difficulties with our 911 center by being able to replace antiquated equipment and improve our ability to serve without communications gaps,” said Ken Beers, Chief of Canandaigua Emergency Squad.

“The Bennington Volunteer Fire Company applied for the Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant program for funds to replace old, non-functional, and expiring Personal Protective Equipment,” said Jim Dick, Bennington Fire Chief. “Grant funds will be used to purchase 17 complete sets of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), each consisting of a 45 minute carbon cylinder, face mask, quick disconnect, HUD, integrated PASS System, voice amplifier, and spare cylinder. Our organization currently has 25 personnel that are SCBA qualified, and with new members joining and our current SCBA in need of replacement, the award of these grant funds will provide our personnel with state-of-the-art equipment that will enhance our ability to serve and protect our community.”

he 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

A letter on behalf of the Bennington Fire Department from Senator Gillibrand is attached.