FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2010
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES ELMIRA FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL RECEIVE OVER $140,000 IN FEDERAL FIRE GRANTS FOR OPERATIONS AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS
Goal Is to Enhance First Responders' Ability to Protect the Health And Safety of the Public In Chemung County
Schumer Says Funds Will Help The Fire Department Pay for Improvements During Difficult Fiscal Times
Schumer Has Successfully Pushed for Additional Funding for Assistance to Fire Departments and First Responders
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the City of Elmira Fire Department has received federal grants totaling $140,400 as part of Round 4 of the FY09 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The funding will be used improve operations and safety. Senator Schumer wrote a letter to DHS Secretary Napolitano in support of the City of Elmira Fire Department’s request. The full text of the letter can be seen below.
“These funds are great news for the Elmira Fire Department and the county of Chemung. Our firefighters sacrifice their lives to save others and they must have the best equipment to do their job," said Schumer. “I will continue to fight for these funds that are so important to the well-being of our brave first responders and our communities.”
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. The Operations and Firefighter Safety Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
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.
Schumer added: “We can never truly repay our first responders for their heroic efforts and dedication to duty. But we can make certain that they have the training and resources they need to do their job and do their job well. This federal money will ensure that the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us get the resources they need to keep themselves and our communities safe.”
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.
September 8, 2009
The Honorable Janet A. Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Nebraska Avenue Center, NW
Washington, D.C. 20528
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Elmira Fire Department for funding under the 2009 Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grant Program. Such funding will enable the Elmira Fire Department to construct new fire facilities.
The Elmira Fire Department is the hub of fire protection in Chemung County as the only fully paid, career department. For this reason the Fire Department often must share responsibilities with neighboring communities. The Fire Department is directly responsible to approximately 30,000 citizens of the City of Elmira as well as numerous pre-arranged mutual aid commitments. The Elmira Fire Department also provides Chemung County’s only HAZ MAT/WMD response capability.
The Elmira Fire Department is currently housed in a ninety-eight year old fire station that was designed and built for horse drawn fire equipment. The Department’s current fire Headquarters building was constructed in 1963 and has experienced recent structural damage. With funding, the Elmira Fire Department will be able to replace and consolidate the current Fire Station and Fire Headquarters to a new centrally located north side station. I applaud the Elmira Fire Department for its foresight, and I hope the application for funding meets with your approval.
Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Director, Grant Kerr, in my Washington office at 202.224.6542.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator