Congressman Paul Tonko announced today that the federal government has awarded a grant of $429,000 to the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company through the Department of Homeland Security's Staffing and Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. The grant will help the company increase recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.
"The SAFER grant program will live up to its name -- helping to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters in Westerlo," said Congressman Tonko. "In the midst of widening budget gaps at the local level, these funds from the federal government are particularly crucial. They keep residents safe, provide a more favorable working environment for volunteer firefighters and help aid in recruiting. I'd like to congratulate the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company on receiving this grant and thank them for their continued noble efforts."
"The Town of Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company is humbled and honored to receive this award on behalf of the Hilltown Regional Fire Departments," said Westerlo Fire Deputy Chief Kevin Flensted. "The application was jointly sponsored in cooperation with the Berne Fire District and we look forward to welcoming many new members to the fire service."
Here are the details of the award:
· Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company: $429,000, to support the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. Grant recipients will receive awards on Friday of this week.
Congress created the SAFER grant program in 2004 to help fire departments hire firefighting personnel and meet voluntary national consensus standards on safe minimum staffing levels. Today's announcement is the 9th round in the fiscal year 2011 cycle. It is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The program does not require matching funds.