Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure Nearly $170,000 Federal Grant for Auburn Fire Department

Feb 27, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $166,815 in federal funding for the Auburn Fire Department to purchase new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Emergency Escape Systems (EES). The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

Senator Gillibrand appealed personally to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate on behalf of the Auburn Fire Department. In her letter, Senator Gillibrand urged FEMA to fully fund the Auburn Fire Department’s request for funding to upgrade Personal Protective Equipment and acquire Emergency Escape Systems, citing that as of this year the current PPE sets will “no longer be compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulations and currently none of the Auburn firefighters are equipped with compliant EES.” 

“With this funding we can protect first responders by helping departments like Auburn Fire utilize the latest technology,” said Senator Schumer. “Both Personal Protective Equipment sets and Emergency Escape Systems put safety first when it comes to sending fire fighters into dangerous situations. This vital grant will support Auburn’s local heroes as they continue their life-saving work.”

“This is an important investment for the Auburn Fire Department,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that our first responders have the most up-to-date and appropriate equipment necessary to serve our communities. These new Personal Protective Equipment sets and Emergency Escape Systems will tremendously help Auburn Fire Department respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives.”

Auburn Fire Department Chief Jeff Dygert
said, “The Auburn Fire Department thanks Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and their staffs for their support and assistance they provided us in our efforts to secure Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to enhance firefighter safety. The award of this Assistance to Firefighters Grant will enable the department to provide safe quality protective gear and emergency escape systems to our firefighters so that they can safely and effectively carry-out their dangerous service to the community.”

The Auburn Fire Department will use the Federal Funding to purchase new PPE Sets and EES which will help their 75 person full-service emergency response unity serve the Auburn community at their highest level.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program assists local fire departments in programs and activities to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations through specialized emergency training for response to situations like terrorist attacks; enhancement of emergency medical services programs; development of health and safety initiatives; establishment of fire education and prevention programs; creation of wellness and fitness programs; and equipment and facility upgrades.

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

A copy of Senator Gillibrand’s letter is attached.