FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2012
SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND, BISHOP ANNOUNCE $122,000 FEDERAL GRANT FOR SMITHTOWN FIRE DISTRICT; NEW FUNDING ENABLES DEPARTMENT TO INCREASE EMERGENCY MEDICAL DIVISION STAFFING
Funding Comes From Schumer, Gillibrand, Bishop Supported DHS SAFER Program That Promotes Effective Firefighting Operation
Smithtown Fire Department Will Use Financial Assistance To Increase Number of Firefighters In Order To Respond to Rising Emergency Medical Operations Call Volume
Schumer, Gillibrand, Bishop Have Relentlessly Pushed for Funding to Assist Fire Departments and First Responders
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Congressman Tim Bishop announced today that the Smithtown Fire District will receive a grant of $122,080 in Round 10 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.
"Firefighters are pillars of the communities they serve, and I am glad to announce that, with this grant, Smithtown residents can be assured that their firefighters will stand strong for years to come,” said Schumer. “The Department of Homeland Security’s investment in the Fire District will enable Smithtown to continue to recruit the best and the brightest to protect their communities against the threat of disaster.”
“This funding will help equip Smithtown Fire District with the necessary resources that are essential to saving lives,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I will continue working to ensure that our first responders and community residents have the staff they need to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
"This federal grant will help ensure the Emergency Medical Services division in Smithtown is able to fulfill its lifesaving mission and more quickly respond to the medical needs of residents. Taken along with the recent grant funding Smithtown received for breathing apparatus for its firefighters, it is clear that federal funding is making our community safer," said Congressman Tim Bishop.
“Due to the increase in call volume in Emergency Medical Operations, we will use the SAFER grant to increase our staffing in the Emergency Medical Division within our Department, making our responses faster and getting the much needed care to the residents of our Fire District,” said Commissioner Tom Buffa.
Schumer was a sponsor of the law creating the Operations and Fire Safety Program, under which local governments and fire departments can receive help in covering the rising costs of fire prevention. The Operations and Firefighter Safety Program grant can be used for firefighter training, 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 athttp://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .