Schumer: Over $485,000 Coming To New York Fire Departments
Schumer announces that 6 fire departments across New York State will receive over $485,000 as part of FEMAs FIRE GRANT programSchumer says federal grant will help fire depts in Cattaraugus, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Oneida, and Onondaga Counties pay for fire operations and fire safety in tough fiscal timesIn March, Schumer fought to restore $400 million to the FIRE grants program which w
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced over $485,000 in federal funds for local fire departments to pay for fire operations and fire safety. The funds are being awarded through the Assistance to Firefighters program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This is a great day for local fire departments in New York, said Schumer. In the brave new post9/11 world, our first responders must be well trained and well equipped to deal with any problem that comes their way. This is really difficult when budget cuts are leaving them short on cash. These federal grants will help make sure that firefighters have the money they need to do their jobs.
Thirteen grants or a total of $485,198 were awarded to local fire departments in Cattaraugus, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Oneida, and Onondaga Counties . The grants were part of 113 given to fire departments and organizations across the country with more rounds to come.
(For a list of specific fire departments receiving grants, please see attached chart.) A Schumer analysis of the Administration's federal budget for FY05 found that cuts to the program could shortchange New York fire departments by $16 million. In March, Schumer urged the Congress and the White House to bolster the Administration's proposal by sending the full $900 million promised to fire departments by Congress.
At Schumer's urging, fire departments across New York have taken advantage of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which sends funds directly for activities such as hiring additional firefighting personnel; specialized emergency response training for situations like terrorist attacks; the creation of wellness and fitness programs for firefighters; equipment and facility upgrades; new fire trucks; and fire prevention programs. Because of its dramatic success in improving fire safety, Congress has raised the amount of money available in the program from $100 million for 2001, to $350 million for 2002, to $745 million for 2003, and finally to $750 million for 2004.
"If ever our local fire departments needed an infusion of cash from the federal government, that time is now," Schumer said. "Budget gaps are worse than they've been in a long time with little relief in sight, and the strain on local fire departments is becoming too much to bear. Add to that the heightened alert our first responders are on because of the war, and this opportunity for fire departments to get financial support is just what the doctor ordered." The grant program, called the USFA Grants to Firefighters Program, awards grants directly to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of firefighting personnel, facing fire and firerelated hazards.
The USFA awards the grants on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program's priorities and demonstrate financial need. Funding is available for activities such as hiring additional firefighting personnel; specialized emergency response training for situations like terrorist attacks; the creation of wellness and fitness programs for firefighters; equipment and facility upgrades; and fire prevention programs.
Previous Article Next Article