04.20.07

Schumer Announces West Seneca Fire District #6 Will Receive Over $20,000 As A Federal Fire Grant

Schumer: Two Emergency Response Programs Across New York State Will Receive Over $25,000 As Part Of U.S. Department Of Homeland Security's Fire Grant ProgramSchumer Says Federal Grants Will Help Fire Departments Pay For Hazard Mitigation During Difficult Fiscal Times Schumer Has Pushed For Additional Funding For Assistance To Fire Departments And First Responders

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the West Seneca Fire District #6 in Erie County will receive a federal grant totaling $20,156 from the 2006 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The grant will be used for public safety education and fire hazard mitigation and is part of the first round of DHS FY06 AFG Fire Prevention and Safety program awards to several fire departments throughout the country.

"This funding will go a long way in supporting the first responders in West Seneca," said Schumer. "Our nation's firefighters are truly America's heroes. Whether fighting a building fire or responding to a terrorist attack, it is essential that we help them to do their jobs safely and efficiently. One of the key ways to do this is to make sure that they have the training, equipment and resources they need to do their job well. This federal money will help make sure that firefighters in Erie County get the resources they need to effectively educate the public on fire prevention in order to keep our communities safe."

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 its inception in 2001, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has delivered over $122 million to New York's fire departments.

For Fiscal Year 2008, Congress has authorized $1 billion for the program, $700 million more than the $300 million included in the Administration's budget proposal. The FY07 DHS Appropriations bill, signed into law by the President, appropriated $662 million for firefighter assistance grants, of which $115 million will go toward SAFER Act grants.

The Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and are under the purview of the National Preparedness Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FP&S grants support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to target highrisk populations and mitigate high incidences of death and injury. Examples of the types of projects supported by FP&S include fire prevention and public safety education campaigns, juvenile firesetter interventions, media campaigns, and arson prevention and awareness programs. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) 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.

"These grants help ensure that the firefighters in Erie County will continue to have the basic resources they require to do their jobs, improve safety and save lives," said Schumer. "Local fire departments have been strained from budget cuts, rising costs of equipment and stress from being on heightened alert because of the war on terrorism. These funds are truly a life saving investment that will provide local fire departments with essential resources and support, so they can be better prepared for emergencies."

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. For more information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, please visit the website at http://www.firegrantsupport.com .



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