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Funding Comes On The Heels of Millions Senators Delivered Last Year To Hire New Cap Region Firefighters, And Will Purchase Needed Heavy Duty Gear Washers To Protect Troy Firefighters From Harmful Carcinogens

Schumer Helped Create The AFG & SAFER Grant Which Delivered Today’s Funding – And Says Boosts Like This Are Why He Is Fought Pass The Fire Grants And Safety Act In The Senate To Save The Program From Being Eliminated This Year

Schumer, Gillibrand: Fed $$$ Will Help Protect The Brave Firefighters That Keep Troy Community Safe

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $128,590 in federal funding for the City of Troy to purchase new heavy duty firefighting gear washers, dryers and other firefighting equipment to help remove carcinogens from firefighting gear and keep Troy’s firefighters safe while working to protect the community. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Schumer and Gillibrand led the charge in the Senate to save these federal firefighting programs that are set to expire at the end of this year which delivered this funding to Troy.

“From being on the frontline during COVID to fighting fires, our Troy firefighters work non-stop keeping our communities safe. That is why when I heard our fire departments were struggling to secure enough equipment to keep their hardworking firefighters safe from harmful carcinogens, I promised to deliver the federal dollars to give our heroes the support they need. So I am proud to deliver this major over $128,000 federal boost so firefighters in the Troy Fire Department can stay safe while providing aid to the surrounding community and protecting critical infrastructure in the area,” said Senator Schumer. “I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our brave firefighters and today’s funding will keep the City of Troy prepared to take on any emergency.”

“Our firefighters work tirelessly to keep New York communities safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will help ensure that Troy firefighters are equipped with the resources they need to effectively respond to any emergency situation. I will continue to fight to ensure that federal resources are available to support our firefighters so they can continue to keep New Yorkers safe.”

“We would like to thank Senator Schumer for his continued support of firefighters at the federal level.  This grant will fund the purchase of three (3) new heavy duty firefighting gear washers and dryers, and other firefighting equipment,” said Troy Fire Department Chief Eric J. McMahon. “As has been reported, cancer diagnoses among firefighters have risen to an alarming rate.  These gear washers will be used following each structure fire to remove known carcinogens from our firefighting gear, making for a healthier and safer firefighting environment.

Schumer and Gillibrand explained the funding will go towards purchasing new heavy duty firefighting gear washers and dryers, and other firefighting equipment to remove harmful carcinogens from firefighting gear, creating a safer environment for Troy’s brave firefighters. Studies have shown that the carcinogens from soot and smoke accumulate on firefighters’ protective gear, posing a serious health risk. In fact, it is widely reported that cancer diagnoses among firefighters have risen to an alarming rate in Upstate New York and across the country. The purchase of these heavy duty washers and dryers will allow the Troy Fire Department to regularly wash their protective gear and help keep firefighters safe from the environmental risks of their job.

Schumer and Gillibrand have secured millions for Troy through the AFG and SAFER grant programs, including over $3 million last September to help the city recruit and hire the next generation of firefighters and over $700,000 last July to directly address staffing shortages at the Troy Fire Department. Schumer originally created the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program in 1999, which funded Troy’s grant today, and which later expanded to also include the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. Currently though, both the AFG and SAFER program are at risk of being eliminated, endangering millions in funding for Upstate New York Fire Departments.

Earlier this year, Schumer and Gillibrand led the charge to pass the Fire Grants and Safety Act of 2023 in the Senate, which would reauthorize funding for the U.S. Fire Administration, the AFG, and SAFER Grant Program through FY2030. The bill also extends the sunset for both SAFER and AFG from 2024 to 2032. The bill would increase the authorization for the U.S. Fire Administration by about $20 million, while maintaining the authorized funding level for SAFER and AFG at $750 million.

The AFG and SAFER grant programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to purchase essential equipment and help them increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program’s priorities and demonstrate financial need.