U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $901,900 in federal funding for Nassau County and Levittown Fire District. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. Specifically, Nassau County was awarded $860,400 and will use the funding to recruit and retain firefighters through a tuition assistance program at Nassau County Community College. Separately, Levittown Fire District was awarded $41,500 and will use the funding to purchase an electronic sign, which will relay important information to the community in the event of an emergency.
“Whether it’s a fire or any other emergency, we depend on these local heroes to keep us safe, and they depend on us to give them the resources they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will allow Nassau County to recruit more firefighters, which will help local fire departments ensure a speedy and effective response to any emergency; and it will allow Levittown Fire District to alert the community in the event of an emergency. I’m proud to announce these federal investments, and will continue fighting to make sure that fire departments across Long Island have the tools and resources they need.”
“I am happy to announce this funding for Nassau County and the Levittown Fire District,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This federal investment will help hire new firefighters throughout Nassau County, and help the Levittown Fire District purchase critical equipment to keep residents in the Town of Hempstead safe. I will always fight in the Senate for the resources that our communities need.”
“Our firefighters and emergency responders work every day to protect our communities, and I’m grateful to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for securing critical funding to help us recruit and retain firefighters and purchase essential safety equipment. I will continue to work with our law enforcement and first responders to advocate for the resources they need to keep our residents safe, said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.”
“The fire service is very grateful for this award. Our plan is to advertise the benefits of fire service and EMS membership to our residents and provide college tuition assistance at Nassau Community College to help encourage recruitment. The safety of all our residents is dependent upon the continued services provided by the brave men and women who volunteer to serve their communities. The need for new volunteers and retention of existing veteran firefighters and EMS members remains a priority and the Office of Emergency Management will continue to work towards assisting in this endeavor,” said Nassau County Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Steven Morelli.
The SAFER grant program was established by FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security 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. More information can be found here.