FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2010
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES RIDGE ROAD FIRE DISTRICT WILL RECEIVE OVER $158,000 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 Monroe 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 Ridge Road Fire District has received federal grants totaling $158,267 as part of Round 7 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.
“These essential grants ensure that the fire departments in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region will continue to have the basic resources required to do their jobs, improve safety and save lives,” said Schumer. “First responders across the region have been hurting from budget cuts while firefighters deal with the everyday stress of their work. These funds are truly a life saving investment that will provide our local first responders with indispensable resources and support, so they can be better prepared for emergencies.”
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.
Schumer wrote a letter in support of the Ridge Road Fire District. The full text of the letter can be seen below:
October 21, 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 Ridge Road Fire District for funding under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Such funding will enable the Ridge Road Fire District to install a critical fire sprinkler safety system.
The Ridge Road Fire District is a small, career department located near the City of Rochester in Western New York. Ridge Road Fire District protects a residential population of 35,000, large portions of the interstate and intrastate highways, hospital complexes, large shopping malls, several high schools, and other important national and community businesses. To effectively serve its community, Ridge Road Fire District needs to be outfitted with equipment that meets current safety standards. Unfortunately, though, Ridge Road’s fire headquarters is aging and is in need of safety upgrades.
With funding, the Ridge Road Fire District will be able to install an NFPA sprinkler system in two of its three stations. Ridge’s current stations are manned twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and are open to the public for educational programs and other walk-in services. Stations are also utilized as congregate care centers for use during natural and manmade events that may require temporary evacuation. Given that there are almost 150 fire station fires each year in the United States, it is critical that our stations are equipped with equipment that can keep them safe. We owe at least this much to our brave firefighters, and I applaud Ridge Road Fire District for its foresight. 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