WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Dan Maffei today announced that six fire departments in Onondaga County have been awarded a total of $852,225 in Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Taunton Fire Department, together with departments in Solvay, Lakeside, Onondaga Hill and the Northwest Fire District, will use a regional grant to replace outdated equipment with 177 new self-contained breathing apparatuses. The Marcellus Fire Department will use its grant to replace a 20-year old air compressor with new equipment to fill self-contained breathing apparatuses.
“Our first responders are our primary line of defense—they are our local heroes who safeguard our residents and protect our property. That is why it is crucial that we provide them with the resources they need so they may do their jobs to the best of their abilities,” said Senator Schumer. “These much-needed funds are an investment in the safety of our firefighters from six departments across Onondaga County. With this funding, they will all be able to replace the critical equipment they need to continue their life-saving work.”
“This is an important investment for our fire departments across Onondaga County,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Our first responders put their lives on the line every day, and that is why it is so critically important to ensure they have the equipment they need. This funding will provide critical tools and resources our firefighters need to keep our families safe.”
“I am thrilled that six of our local fire departments in Onondaga County have been awarded these important federal grants,” said Rep. Maffei. “Our dedicated firefighters work hard to keep our community safe, and this funding will ensure they have the high-quality equipment they need and deserve.”
“The grant will be used for purchasing air packs, self-contained breathing apparatus, which meet the new safety standards,” said Chief Kevin Spraker of the Taunton Fire Department. “We’ve been using 15-year-old ones; the new ones will keep us safe.”
“This grant will be used to purchase air compressors to fill air bottles for our firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatuses. Our current compressors are 24 years old,” said Chief Dave Card of the Marcellus Fire Department. “These compressors will also be used by other local fire departments who we have mutual agreements with when their compressors are down. On any given day, there are at least four other departments that will benefit from our new compressors.”
Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Rep. Maffei strongly supported this federal funding. The AFG program is a competitive grant program to help firefighters and other first responders enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public and to obtain critically needed resources, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training to improve the capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.