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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2011

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES SOUTH ONONDAGA FIRE DEPT. WILL RECEIVE OVER $80,000 IN A FEDERAL FIRE GRANT FOR PURCHASE OF A TANKER FIRE TRUCK


Goal Is to Enhance First Responders' Ability to Protect the Health And Safety of the Public In Onondaga 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 South Onondaga Fire Department has received a federal grant totaling $81,485 as part of Round 16 of the FY10 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. With this funding, the South Onondaga Fire Department will be able to purchase a new 2010 Diamond SPEC 7600 SBA tanker fire truck that has the capability to hold 3,000 gallons of water. Currently, the fire department uses a 21 year-old truck as a water truck that was converted for fire truck purposes and can only hold a maximum of 1,600 gallons. Senator Schumer wrote directly to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in support of this application.

“This essential grant ensures that the fire department in South Onondaga will continue to have the basic resources required to do their jobs, improve safety and save lives,” said Schumer. “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. 

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