Over $3.1 Million Will Go to 45 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 a $59,945 grant will be awarded to the Dexter Volunteer Fire Department in Jefferson through the 2008 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The grant is designed to strengthen the response programs of fire departments throughout the country and will be used for operations and safety.

"This is great news for the first responders in Dexter," said Schumer. "We cannot thank our local heroes enough for their efforts, but we can provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs well."

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 45 emergency response programs are part of round 27 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 .