May 17, 2013

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure Nearly $35,000 Federal Grant for North Castle South Fire District #1

Funds will be used to Purchase New Jaws of Life

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that the North Castle South Fire District #1 will receive $34,661 in federal grants to purchase new hydraulic rescue tools, commonly known as the Jaws of Life. The funding comes from the FY12 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

"With this funding, North Castle firefighters can focus on their important work and will have the proper equipment to safely respond to emergencies in the region,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment for Jaws of Life and other extraction equipment will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible.”

“This is an important investment for the North Castle South Fire District #1,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities.  The new Jaws of Life equipment will help North Castle South Fire District #1 upgrade their emergency response equipment so that their firefighters can respond to emergencies in the community more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives.” 

"The grant will be utilized to replace an antiquated set of hydraulic rescue tools, which was purchased with grant funding more than 25 years ago,” North Castle South Fire District Assistant Chief Andrew Seicol said. “Hydraulic rescue tools are a vital resource to fire department operations in extricating victims of motor vehicle accidents and other rescue scenarios."

Schumer was an original sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of this funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

Located in North White Plains, the North Castle South Fire District #1 will use the federal funds to purchase new hydraulic rescue equipment. The investment will help them serve the members of the community with the highest efficiency.

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 http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .