Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney today announced $120,660 in federal funding for the City of Beacon Fire Department in Dutchess County. Specifically, the Fire Department will receive $110,040 from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, which will be used to hire a recruitment coordinator. The coordinator will work part-time to recruit and retain at least nine qualified volunteers within two years and focus on developing a recruitment pipeline with local high schools and colleges. In addition, the City of Beacon Fire Department will also receive $10,620 in funding provided by the DHS’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which will be used to purchase a washer/extractor system to help remove contamination from firefighter gear.
“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the equipment and resources that they need to stay safe on the job,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our first 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 for the job. This investment for the Beacon Fire Department will do just that, by allowing them to hire a recruitment coordinator who will help the Department stay fully-staffed with volunteer firefighters.”
“The City of Beacon Fire Department works hard to keep their community safe. This federal funding will help them bring on additional firefighters so the department can have the staffing level necessary to quickly respond to emergencies and to get new equipment that will help keep their firefighters safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I will always fight to make sure that our local fire departments have the resources they need to safely and efficiently respond to emergencies.”
“We have to make sure our firefighters have the strength of force to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies – and these investments will make sure they do,” said Rep. Maloney. “This funding will also make sure that our firefighters have safe equipment to use when they run into danger – they’re out there protecting folks in Beacon every single day – and they deserve the staff and equipment they need to keep our communities safe.”
“Volunteer firefighters and first responders play a crucial role in the protection of life and property during emergency situations; the City of Beacon is thrilled to work alongside the FEMA SAFER program to recruit and retain the best, brightest, and most passionate volunteers who are committed to serving our great city,” said Anthony J. Ruggiero, M.P.A., City Administrator, City of Beacon.
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. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with the DHS’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 found here.