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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2004

Schumer Presents Check For More Than $74,000 To The Gates Fire District For New Communications Equipment Monday

Gates Fire District to purchase new radio equipment that will improve emergency response; Funds come from federal FIRE Grants program that Schumer helped to create

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today presented a check to the Gates Fire District for $74,250 awarded as part of the federal FIRE grants Program he helped create. The funds will be used to purchase new communications equipment for use in emergencies. Gates Fire District Chairman William Gillette, Gates-Chili Fire Department Chief Dave Richards, and Gates firefighters received the check.

“This is a great day for the Gates Fire District,” said Schumer. “In the brave new post-9/11 world, our first responders must be well trained and well equipped to deal with any problem that comes their way. This is really difficult when budget cuts are leaving them short on cash. These federal funds will help make sure that firefighters have the money they need to do their jobs.”

At Schumer's urging, fire departments across New York have taken advantage of the program, which sends funds directly for activities such as hiring additional firefighting personnel; specialized emergency response training for situations like terrorist attacks; the creation of wellness and fitness programs for firefighters; equipment and facility upgrades; new fire trucks; and fire prevention programs.

Because of its dramatic success in improving fire safety, Congress has raised the amount of money available in the program from $100 million for 2001, to $350 million for 2002, to $745 million for 2003, and finally to $750 million for 2004. Schumer has led efforts to increase that amount to $900 million for 2005. Schumer co-sponsored the legislation that established the FIRE Grant program in 2001.

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