Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that the North Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department will receive a grant totaling $204,915 in Round 14 of the FY12 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. Supported by 45 active first responders, the North Syracuse Fire Department will use the federal funding to purchase 40 new SCBA devices to replace obsolete ones. These new devices will help them serve nearly 20,000 people in two Onondaga County townships and 1,000 calls annually.
"With this funding, North Syracuse firefighters can focus on their important work without fear for their own safety," said Senator Schumer. "This investment for new SCBA equipment will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible."
"This is an important investment for the North Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department," Senator Gillibrand said. "When our first responders go into harm's way to keep our families safe, it is our responsibility to make sure they have the right equipment. This grant will help give them the new breathing equipment they need so they can operate safely and efficiently, and help save more lives."
Christopher R. Strong, Assistant Chief of Fire, North Syracuse Fire Department, said "North Syracuse Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to thank United States Senator Gillibrand & United States Senator Schumer for their continued support of the AFG, noting funds for this program are being more difficult than ever to secure."
Schumer was an original sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of this funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program assists local fire departments in programs and activities to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations through specialized emergency training for response to situations like terrorist attacks; enhancement of emergency medical services programs; development of health and safety initiatives; establishment of fire education and prevention programs; creation of wellness and fitness programs; and equipment and facility upgrades.
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 http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .