FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 16, 2008
Schumer Announces Jefferson County Fire Department Will Receive Nearly $200,000 As A Federal Fire Grant To Acquire New Vehicles
Schumer: Seven Emergency Response Programs across Upstate New York Will Receive Almost $700,000 as Part of U.S. Department Of Homeland Security's Fire Grant Program
Schumer Says Federal Grants Will Help Fire Departments Pay for Improvements during Difficult Fiscal Times
Schumer Has Pushed for Additional Funding to Assist Fire Departments and First Responders
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that the Mannsville-Manor Fire Department of Jefferson County will receive $190,000 from the 2008 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The grant is part of the twenty-fourth round of DHS FY07 AFG program awards to several fire departments throughout the country and will be used towards vehicle acquisition.
"This funding will go a long way in supporting the first responders across Jefferson County," said Schumer. "Our nation's firefighters are truly America's heroes. Whether fighting a building fire or responding to a terrorist attack, it is essential that we help them to do their jobs safely and efficiently. One of the key ways to do this is to make sure that they have the training, equipment and resources they need to do their job well. This federal money will help make sure that firefighters in Jefferson County get the vehicles they need and have enough capable people on hand to keep our communities safe."
Schumer was among the first senators who recognized the need for the federal government to establish a funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. Since its inception in 2001, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has delivered over $168 million to New York's first responders.
For Fiscal Year 2008, Congress has authorized $1 billion for the program, $700 million more than the $300 million included in the Administration's budget proposal. The FY07 DHS Appropriations bill, signed into law by the President, appropriated $662 million for firefighter assistance grants, of which $115 million will go toward SAFER Act grants.
The Vehicle Acquisition Program funds will go towards pumpers, brush/attack units, tanks, rescue vehicles, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam trucks, and fire boats. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) provides funding to local fire departments to help them 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.
"These grants help ensure that firefighters in Jefferson County continue to have the basic resources they require to do their jobs, improve safety and save lives," said Schumer. "Local fire departments have been strained from budget cuts, rising costs of equipment and stress from being on heightened alert because of the war on terrorism. These funds are truly a life saving investment that will provide local fire departments with essential resources and support, so they can be better prepared for emergencies."
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security 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. For more information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, please visit the website at http://www.firegrantsupport.com .
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