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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 19, 2011

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES NEARLY $2 MILLION IN FEDERAL FIRE GRANTS COMING TO WHITE PLAINS FIRE BUREAU; WITH FUNDS, 9 LAID-OFF FIREFIGHTERS WILL BE REHIRED


Funding Comes From DHS SAFER Grant Program That Promotes and Maintains Adequate Staffing and Training at Volunteer Fire Departments

9 White Plains Firefighters Were Laid Off in May 2010 Due to Budget Cuts, Now Will Be Rehired With Federal Funds

Schumer Has Continually Pushed for Funding to Assist Fire Departments and First Responders

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the White Plains Fire Bureau will receive a grant totaling $1,942,206 in Round 4 of the FY10 AFG Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. These federal funds will allow the White Plains Fire Bureau to rehire 9 firefighters who were laid off in May 2010, due to budget cuts. AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and are designed to strengthen the response programs of fire departments throughout the country by promoting and maintaining 24-hour staffing, particularly in volunteer fire departments.
"Our firefighters keep our families and businesses safe, and with these federal funds more brave men and women will return to their life-saving work,” Schumer said. “Today, the people of White Plains can sleep easier knowing that more firefighters will be back to work.”

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.
This Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program is part of Round 4 of the AFG Program and is intended to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. SAFER grants are administered to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.  The objective of the Hiring of Firefighters activity is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters.  The objective of the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters activity is to create a more favorable working environment for volunteer firefighters.  The primary focus of this activity is to enlist and/or retain volunteer firefighters who are trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response.
Today’s federal funds awarded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow the White Plains Fire Bureau to rehire 9 firefighters that had been laid off in May 2010 due to budget cuts.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Programs are 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.  More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .

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