SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE MORE THAN $400K IN FEDERAL FUNDS FOR NORTH COUNTRY FIRE DEPARTMENTS
Fire Depts. In St. Lawrence, Jefferson & Franklin Counties Will Use Funding to Purchase Critical Equipment To Keep Firefighters Safe
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $416,880 in federal funding for three fire departments in the North Country. This federal funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the DeKalb Junction Volunteer Fire Department in St. Lawrence County will receive $21,905 to replace the hoses for their fire trucks and fire house. The City of Watertown Fire Rescue in Jefferson County will receive $297,615 to upgrade self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air packs and related training equipment. Finally, the Brushton Volunteer Fire Department Inc. in Franklin County will receive $97,360 to purchase 12 new SCBA air packs and seven new sets of protective turnout gear.
“This vital funding will provide our firefighters in the North Country with the equipment and training necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense – it is crucial provide them with the resources they need so they can continue their important work of saving lives.”
“These federal funds will allow our fire departments to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs effectively and stay safe while they are protecting our communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect the men and women who risk their lives every day in the face of danger, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure that our fire departments are funded and equipped.”
“We are thankful to be awarded this grant award which will allows us to upkeep our fire department,” said Naomi Drake, Vice President of the DeKalb Junction Volunteer Fire Department. “We couldn’t do it without the support of the community and our Senators.”
“This funding will allow our Fire Department to safely serve residents with the most up to date equipment possible without costing local tax payers. We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their support,” said City of Watertown Fire-Rescue Chief Dale Herman.
“As an all-volunteer rural fire department, part of our annual budget is obtain through contracts with our town and village. In an effort to help keep our tax base down for our community, the remainder of our budget is obtained through various fund raisers that we ask our membership to participate in. Couple this, with having our members keep up with mandated training can become very difficult to say the lease. Having the opportunity to acquire this FEMA grant, for necessary equipment, to keep our members safe will be beneficial in relieving our membership in fund raising events and allow us to concentrate our time and efforts on necessary training,” said Dominic Bares President of the Brushton Volunteer Fire Department.
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. Funding is allocated to strengthen the overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.
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