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Federal Grant Will Fund Purchase Of New Oxygen Refilling Station For Firefighter Air Packs

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $46,319 in federal funding for Brighton Fire District No. 5 in Erie County. The funding was awarded through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Specifically, the funding will be used to install a new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) refilling station, which will allow firefighters to refill the air packs that protect them when in dangerous situations.

“Our firefighters in Erie County put their lives on the line every day,” said Senator Schumer. “They shouldn't have to waste time driving back and forth to other firehouses just to fill up on air. This funding will help keep our local heroes safe and let them focus on answering residents’ calls for help.”

“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.”

“You know, it’s a real pain the butt when you have to refill your air bottles at 3am and you have to use the refilling station at a neighboring fire company," said Fire Commissioner Walter Byers. "Our neighbors have been very gracious in terms of letting us refill, but I’ve been here 48 years and we’ve never been able to refill our air bottles in house. I’d like to shake Senator Schumer’s hand.”

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