FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2009

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES OVER $300,000 IN FIRE GRANTS COMING TO THREE CAPITAL REGION FIRE DEPARTMENTS


Over $1.5 Million Will Go to 22 Emergency Response Programs Across NYS as Part of U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Firefighters Grants Program

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

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that $312,489 in grants will be awarded to three Capital Region Fire Departments through the 2008 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Tribes Hill Fire Department will receive $29,151, the West Albany Fire District will receive $139,560 and the Poestenkill Fire Company will receive $143,688. These grants are designed to strengthen the response programs of fire departments throughout the country and will be used for the purchase of much needed equipment.

"When there is an emergency our first responders on the front lines must have the equipment and support they need to continue to do their jobs well,” said Schumer. “Our nation's firefighters are truly America's heroes. It is essential that we help them to do their jobs safely and efficiently and this federal money will provide our firefighters with the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”

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. Since 2004, with the Fiscal Year 2008 awards, AFG has provided a total of almost $2.75 billion to first-responder organizations across the country to purchase response equipment, personal protective equipment, and vehicles.

The grants for the three emergency response programs are part of round 25 of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program announcements.

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.

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.  More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .

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