Albany, NY – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $94,896 in federal funding for fire departments in Capital Region and Adirondack Region. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). Specifically, the West Charlton Fire District in Saratoga County will receive $83,467 to purchase new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units. The Port Henry Fire Department in Essex County will receive $11,429 to purchase a new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Drying Cabinet.
“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense for safety and security—it is critical that we do all we can to ensure that they are well equipped and prepared to take on any emergency.”
“These federal funds will allow our first responders to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect our first responders when they risk their lives, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure they are given the support they deserve.”
“We will utilize the grant for purchasing SCBA’s, or self-contained breathing apparatus,” said Louis Haller, Fire Commissioner, West Charlton Fire District. “It is important to the district as it provides the latest in safety equipment for our fire fighters and provides tax relief for our small fire district. This grant represents approximately 73% of our 2017 Budget. On behalf of the citizens of the West Charlton Fire District, we say thank you.”
“Our goal is to increase firefighter safety by ensuring our turnout gear is properly maintained per NFPA 1851 guidelines and free of any carcinogens or soot that will impact the long term health of our firefighters,” said James A. Hughes, Fire Chief, Port Henry Fire Department. “These funds will purchase a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Drying Cabinet intended to promote the health, well-being, and safety of our firefighters. An award from the AFG Program and this match provides the best possible solution for the lowest possible cost while providing optimal benefit to our firefighter community. On behalf of a grateful department, please extend our sincerest thanks to Senator’s Schumer and Gillibrand for continuing to support this very important grant program.”
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.