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Senators Have Continually Pushed for Funding to Assist Fire Departments and First Responders

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Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that the Tioughnioga Fire Department in the Village of DeRuyter will receive a grant totaling $20,449 in Round 15 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. The Tioughnioga Fire Department will use this funding to purchase 7 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) masks and 7 new turn out gear suits to protect their firefighters.

"With this funding, Tioughnioga firefighters in the Village of DeRuyter can focus on their important work without fear for their own safety," said Senator Schumer. "This investment for new SCBA equipment and turn out gear 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 Tioughnioga Fire Department," Senator Gillibrand said. "The new breathing masks and turnout gear will allow these firefighters to operate at their highest efficiency and in the safest possible conditions as they respond to calls in the community."

Tioughnioga Fire Department Chief Edwin B. Coon said, "This grant is very much appreciated and needed to help keep our firefighters safe. Meeting the standards for personal protective equipment is a burden on volunteer fire departments. This grant allows us to keep our turnout gear current and provide the best possible protection for our firefighters."

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/ .


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