Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure $1.2 Million For Utica To Build Joint Emergency Operation, Medical, And Fire Center Helping Keep Communities Safe In The Mohawk Valley

Mar 26, 2024

Schumer, Gillibrand: Fed $$$ Will Help Our Brave First Responders During Emergencies & Keep Our Mohawk Valley Residents Safe

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced they have secured $1,200,000 in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills for the City of Utica to construct a centrally located emergency operation, medical, and fire center (EOC). The senators said the complex will allow for faster emergency deployment measures and increase response times during emergencies by building a centralized emergency management station in the city center to help keep the Mohawk Valley safe.

“Our Utica first responders risk their lives around the clock to protect our communities, and this $1.2 million federal boost will allow the City of Utica to move forward on a joint emergency operations center so they can continue to keep residents safe in the Mohawk Valley. With this funding, our firefighters and paramedics at Station 7 will be in one centralized location, bolstering their emergency response and ensuring our communities get the help they need during times of crisis,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are heroes who deserve modern facilities that enable them to do their jobs more effectively and to save lives. I am proud to deliver this federal investment to boost Utica’s first responders and ensure they are prepared to take on any emergency.”

“Equipping our first responders with the resources needed to respond to any emergency is crucial to saving lives,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This $1.2 million in federal funding will help construct a centralized emergency response center Utica, allowing for faster response times and improved emergency response capabilities for area residents. I am proud to have secured this funding and will continue to fight for federal resources to help keep our communities safe.”

Schumer and Gillibrand explained the new building will serve as a centrally located hub for emergency, medical, and fire operations in the city center. The station will be a fully equipped command and control operation center and house three NYS certified paramedic ambulances, with one engine company assigned to provide emergency response capabilities to the entire City of Utica. The EOC will also increase critical personnel, equipment, and communication technology needed during an emergency response, so teams are better equipped to handle crises.

“The City of Utica continues to work proactively to make sure that we have the most up to date facilities and equipment for our departments,” said Mayor of Utica Michael P. Galime. “On behalf of the entire city, I would like to thank Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for this hard fought win, securing over one million dollars in federal funding for the City of Utica Fire Department. I applaud the Senators for their tireless commitment to the public safety of our community.”  

“The Utica Fire Department is pleased to receive the support of Senator’s Schumer and Gillibrand for this vitally important public safety project,” said Fire Chief Scott E. Ingersoll.

The senators explained Utica currently has no EOC to handle large-scale incidents in in the City and surrounding communities. Additionally, aging fire stations in Utica are increasing maintenance costs are making it more difficult for emergency services to be delivered effectively, efficiently to communities, threatening residents’ safety and putting undue stress on firefighters.

The senators said building a centrally located emergency response center in Oneida Square, with easy accessibility from Interstate I-90 (Thruway), an established P-25 system for rapid deployment by Utica’s first responders, will enable the City to coordinate with the city police department, relevant agencies, and non-profit social services to meet the needs of residents during fires and medical emergencies.

Schumer and Gillibrand have a long history of delivering funding for Utica’s first responders. Last year, Schumer and Gillibrand secured $2.1 million for the Utica Fire Department through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program to help hire 8 new firefighters. In past years, the senators have also delivered $500,000 for the Utica Fire Department through DHS’s Assistance for Firefighters Grant (AFG) to purchase a new fire truck.