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Goal Is to Enhance First Responder's Ability to Protect Public Health And Safety

Schumer Says Federal Grant Will Help Morton's Corners Volunteer Fire Company Pay for Improvements During Difficult Fiscal Times

Schumer Has Successfully Pushed for Additional Funding for Assistance to Fire Departments and First Responders Across Western New York

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Morton's Corners Volunteer Fire Companyin Springville has received a federal grant totaling $62,600  as part of Round 13 of the FY09 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The funding will be used to improve operations and safety at the fire company with new rescue and self contained breathing equipment.

"This essential grant ensures that the Morton's Corners Volunteer Fire Company will continue to have the basic resources required to do their jobs, improve safety and save lives," said Schumer. "First responders across Western New York have been hurting from budget cuts while firefighters deal with the everyday stress of their work. These funds are truly a life saving investment that will provide our local first responders with indispensable resources and support, so they can be better prepared for emergencies."
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. 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 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program assists local fire departments in programs and activities to 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.
Schumer added: "We can never truly repay our first responders for their heroic efforts and dedication to duty. But we can make certain that they have the training and resources they need to do their job and do their job well. This federal money will ensure that the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us get the resources they need to keep themselves and our communities safe."
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.
The full text of Schumer's letter to Secretary Napolitano is below.
                                                                  June 4, 2009
The Honorable Janet A. Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Nebraska Avenue Center, NW
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary:
            I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Morton's Corners Volunteer Fire Department for funding under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Such funding will enable Morton's Corners to purchase fire safety equipment.
 Morton's Corners Volunteer Fire Department is located in Springville, New York. Springfield is a village in Erie County, New York, with a population of approximately 4,000 covering 3.7 square miles.
 With funding, Morton's Corners Fire Department will be able to purchase six SelfContained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) sets. Purchasing this equipment will ensure that firefighter will be able to rescue and be rescued by other firefighters. Additionally, the department will purchase new extrication and stabilization equipment to enhance rescue operations and firefighter safety. I applaud Morton's Corners Fire Department for its foresight, and I hope the application for funding meets with your approval.
 Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Director, Grant Kerr, in my Washington office at 202.224.6542.
                                                                  Charles E. Schumer
                                                                  United States Senator