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City of Rochester & Town of Gates Fire Depts. Will Use Funding to Provide Rescue Training & Purchase Life-Saving Equipment in Order to Keep Firefighters Safe 

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a total of $461,938 in federal funding for two Rochester area fire departments. Specifically, the City of Rochester will receive $115,249 in federal funding and the Town of Gates Fire District will receive $346,689. These federal funds were allocated through the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program’s (AFG) Fire Prevention & Safety Program (FP&S) and will be used to provide critical rescue training to the City of Rochester firefighters and purchase life-saving equipment for the Town of Gates firefighters.

“These much-needed federal funds will enable the Rochester and Gates Fire Departments to invest in the critical rescue training they need as well as purchase the new, life-saving equipment that will keep firefighters safe and effective during emergency situations,” said Senator Schumer. “Our first responders are our local heroes—they are our primary line of defense and protect our residents and property. That is why it is crucial that we provide them with the cutting-edge equipment and training that they need to do their jobs and save lives.”

“We must ensure that our first responders who put themselves in harm’s way have the most up-to-date equipment and training they need to help save lives,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Rochester and Gates Fire Departments will use this funding to invest in critical, life-saving training and equipment that will help them provide needed medical assistance to those in the community.”

The Rochester Fire Department will use their allotted funds for technical rescue training. Specifically, the training will provide RFD firefighters with knowledge of foundational, operations and technician level trench rescue training. In addition, the funds will allow the department to continue responding to technical rescue incidents caused by natural disasters.

“The City of Rochester is known for its high quality services, particularly when it comes to public safety,” Mayor Lovely A. Warren said. “The grant will help us keep the men and women of the Rochester Fire Department trained in all the most up-to-date equipment and technologies, putting us in the best position possible to keep our streets safe, enabling us to attract more jobs to our region. I’d like to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Representative Slaughter, for their leadership in securing this grant funding for our city.”

The Gates Fire District will use the federal funds to purchase a new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). These SCBA air-packs help firefighters breathe when in burning buildings and hazardous environments. Their current SCBAs are outdated, damaged and no longer compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) safety standards, making the Fire District’s need for new equipment especially acute.

“The new SCBAs are necessary to allow us to continue to provide effective fire/rescue services to our community, while appropriately protecting our firefighters' health and safety,” said Alan R. Bubel, Assistant Chief of the Gates Fire District. “Without federal assistance, updating this personal protective equipment would be extremely challenging, as our District's financial outlook continues to worsen due to the downturn in our economy and New York State's 2% cap on annual taxation rates. The AFG funds we have been awarded will be put to priority use in ensuring the welfare of our members and the people they protect. For that, we are very grateful.”

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