05.05.11

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES OVER $288,000 IN FEDERAL FIRE GRANT FOR LAKE PLAINS COMMUNITY CARE NETWORK; FUNDING FOR RECRUITMENT OF FIREFIGHTERS, EMS IN GENESEE COUNTY

Funding Comes From DHS SAFER Grant Program That Promotes and Maintains Adequate Staffing and Training at Volunteer Fire DepartmentsLake Plains Community Care Network Will Use Funds to Help Recruit Firefighters, EMS, Fundraisers and Critical Support StaffSchumer Has Continually Pushed for Funding to Assist Fire Departments and First Responders

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Lake Plains Community Care Network, in Batavia, will receive a grant totaling $288,680 in Round 19 of the FY10 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and are designed to strengthen the response programs of fire departments throughout the country by promoting and maintaining 24hour staffing, particularly in volunteer fire departments. The Lake Plains Community Care Network will use this funding in partnership with the Genesee County Emergency Management Services department to create a countywide marketing effort to increase recruitment of volunteer firefighters, in addition to EMS staff, fundraisers, and other critical support staff.

"This federal money will help the Genesee County Emergency Management Service agency and all of Genesee County, recruit and maintain competent volunteer staff that are capable of quickly and safely responding to emergencies in the area," said Schumer. "These funds will also guarantee that our local heroes have the critically important fundraisers and support staff that keep Genesee County's volunteer fire departments and emergency services running. The people of Genesee County can sleep easier tonight knowing that their volunteer fire departments have the resources for a new generation of firefighters and EMS to continue to do their lifesaving work."

Lake Plains Community Care Network in partnership with the Genesee County Emergency Management Services department will utilize this funding in a county wide marketing effort to increase recruitment of volunteer firefighters, EMS and more. This marketing effort will emphasize the need for firefighters, but also for volunteers  in other critical capacities such as EMS members, fundraisers, and support staff. The funding will also help pay for mandated education requirements for volunteer fire and emergency workers in Genesee County. Schumer states that this funding will remove a major barrier of recruitment.

Senator Schumer commends the Lake Plains Community Care Network, as well as the Genesee County Emergency Management Services, for their hard work in putting together such a strong application for the SAFER grant.  With the exception of Batavia, all the fire departments in Genesee County are volunteer, and this funding will help boost those volunteer numbers. 

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 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program is part of Round 19 of the AFG Program and are intended to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. SAFER grants are administered to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24hour staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and firerelated hazards.  The objective of the Hiring of Firefighters activity is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters.  The objective of the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters activity is to create a more favorable working environment for volunteer firefighters.  The primary focus of this activity is to enlist and/or retain volunteer firefighters who are trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Programs are 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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