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Federal Funding Will Be Used to Bolster Safety and Operations 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $232,857 in federal funding for two Hudson Valley fire departments. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the Milan Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. will receive $130,952 in federal funds to purchase 20 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units. The Village of Pelham Fire Department will receive $101,905 to purchase a new rescue vehicle.

“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense for safety and security—it is critical that we do all we can to ensure that they are well equipped and prepared to take on any emergency.”

“These federal funds will allow first responders at the Milan Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. and Village of Pelham Fire Department to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs safely,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Every day our first responders risk their lives to protect us, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure our local fire departments have the support they need to keep their communities safe.”

“We would like to extend our gratitude to Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand for securing over one hundred thousand dollars in critical funding for the Village of Pelham Fire Department. This funding will allow us to replace Rescue 45, a 21-year old emergency vehicle that is essential to the life-saving work done by our first responders.  The Senators’ support and advocacy on behalf of the Pelham community, including our first responders, is deeply appreciated,” said Michael J. Volpe, Mayor of Pelham.

"This could not have come at a more critical time," said Milan Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Sardaro.  "Our SCBA's are no longer adequate for our needs. At our most recent structure fire less than two weeks ago, we had one of our air packs fail. The tax caps and financial situation of the communities we protect would have made replacing the packs nearly impossible.  We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their assistance in obtaining this grant", said Chief Sardaro.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency 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