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Over $1 Million Will Go to Emergency Response Programs in 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

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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that three fire departments in the Southern Tier will receive grants from the 2008 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Grand Gorge Fire Department will receive $18,335, Sidney Center Fire Department will receive $36,100, and the Otego Volunteer Fire Department will receive $71,141. These grants are part of the eleventh round of the Department's competitive FY08 Fire Grant announcements program, designed to strengthen the response programs of fire departments throughout the country. The grants will be used towards the acquisition of vehicles, response equipment, and personal protective equipment. 


"This funding will go a long way in supporting the first responders in the Southern Tier," said Schumer. "Our nation's firefighters are truly America's heroes. It is essential that we provide them with the resources they need to help them to do their jobs safely and efficiently. This federal money will help make sure that firefighters in the area get the vehicles and equipment they need and have enough capable people on hand to keep our communities safe from harm."

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 firstresponder organizations to purchase response equipment, personal protective equipment, and vehicles.


For Fiscal Year 2008, Congress has authorized $500 million in competitive grants to fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations.


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 .