FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2005

Schumer: Over $229,000 Coming to Two Adirondack Region Fire Organizations

Schumer announces that 12 fire departments and organizations across New York State will receive over $660,000 as part of latest round of FY2005 U.S. Department of Homeland Securities’ FIRE GRANT program Schumer says federal grant will help pay for fire operations and fire safety in tough fiscal times In March, Schumer fought to restore $400 million to the FIRE grants program which would be c

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced $229,591 in federal funds for two Adirondack Region fire organizations, Warrensburg Emergency Medical Services and Salem Volunteer Fire Department, to pay for fire operations and fire safety. The funds are being awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

"This is fantastic news for the Adirondack Region," said Schumer. "Four years after 9/11, it is as important as ever for our first responders to be well trained and well equipped to deal with any problem that comes their way. While slashed budgets have threatened to weaken the quality of fire protection, these federal grants will help make sure that firefighters have the money they need to do their jobs well."

Two grants for a total of $229,591 were awarded to fire organizations in the Adirondack Region. $60,071 went to Warrensburg Emergency Medical Services in Warren County as part of the fifth round of grants for FY 2005. In addition, $169,520 went to the Salem Volunteer Fire Department in Washington County as part of the 42nd round of federal grants from FY 2004. Both grants will be used for fire operations and safety.

A Schumer analysis of the Administration's federal budget for FY05 found that cuts to the program could shortchange New York fire departments by $16 million. In March, Schumer urged the Congress and the White House to bolster the Administration's proposal by sending the full $900 million promised to fire departments by Congress.

At Schumer's urging, fire departments and emergency services providers across New York have taken advantage of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which sends funds directly for activities such as specialized emergency response training for situations like terrorist attacks; the creation of wellness and fitness programs for firefighters; equipment and facility upgrades; new fire trucks; and fire prevention programs.

"If ever our local fire departments needed an infusion of cash from the federal government, that time is now," Schumer said. "Budget gaps are worse than they've been in a long time with little relief in sight, and the strain on local fire departments is becoming too much to bear. Four years after the 9/11 attacks and with the country facing a heightened alert in the face of the war in Iraq, this is just what the doctor ordered for our fire departments across the state."

The grant program, called the USFA Grants to Firefighters Program, awards grants directly to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of firefighting personnel, facing fire and fire-related hazards.

The USFA awards the grants on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program's priorities and demonstrate financial need. Funding is available for activities such as specialized emergency response training for situations like terrorist attacks; the creation of wellness and fitness programs for firefighters; equipment and facility upgrades; and fire prevention programs.

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