FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2012
SCHUMER SECURES OVER $268K FEDERAL GRANT FOR BEEKMAN FIRE DISTRICT; INVESTMENT TO HIRE FOUR NEW FIREFIGHTERS
Funding Comes From Schumer- Supported DHS SAFER Program That Promotes Effective Firefighting Operation
Beekman Fire Will Use Funds to Bring Four New Firefighters On Board
Schumer Has Relentlessly Pushed for Funding to Assist Fire Departments and First Responders
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Beekman Fire District will receive a grant totaling $268,500 in Round 9 of the FY11 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program- Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER). SAFER awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and are designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards and improve the nation’s overall level of preparedness. Specifically, the Beekman Fire District will hire a part-time Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Coordinator to develop and implement a comprehensive recruitment and retention program to attract and retain qualified volunteers. The grant will also fund a variety of marketing efforts aimed at recruiting new members as well as incentives such as mileage reimbursement, and life insurance.
"With these funds, Beekman residents can rest easy knowing even more firefighters stand at the ready to protect their community,” said Schumer. “This investment will help ensure that our local heroes have the personnel on their team to work as efficiently and effectively as possible to save lives.”
Schumer was a sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of this 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 goal of the SAFER grant program is 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 program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grants 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/ . A copy of the Senator’s letter of support appears below:
March 26, 2012
Ms. Elizabeth M. Harman
DHS/FEMA/Grants Program Preparedness
800 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20472-3620
Dear Ms. Harman:
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Beekman Fire District (Application No. EMW-2011-FH-00176) for funding under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program. Such funding will enable the Beekman Fire District to implement a volunteer recruitment and retention program.
Beekman Fire District is an all-volunteer fire district that provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the Town of Beekman, a rural community of 15,000 located in Dutchess County, New York. Beekman has experienced significant growth in recent years, creating a higher demand for services. However, the District has only forty-five active firefighters and is able to meet the National Fire Protection Association standard for staffing only 25 percent of the time.
With funding, the Beekman Fire District will hire a part-time Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Coordinator to develop and implement a comprehensive recruitment and retention program to attract and retain qualified volunteers. The grant will also fund a variety of marketing efforts aimed at recruiting new members as well as incentives such as mileage reimbursement, and life insurance. These new initiatives will enable the District to increase its membership and ensure a sufficient number of its members are available to safely and effectively respond to incidents. I applaud the Beekman Fire District for its foresight, and I sincerely hope its application for funding meets with your approval.
Thank you for your consideration. If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator