U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Yulan Fire Department Inc. is set to receive $34,913 to purchase turnout gear and the Pelham Manor Fire Department is set to receive $108,175 in federal funding to purchase a new SCOTT SCBA's and bottles. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
"With this funding, first responders in the Hudson Valley can focus on their important work knowing they have reliable new gear," said Senator Schumer. "This investment will help ensure that our local heroes from the Yulan and Pelham Manor Fire Departments have the turnout gear and SCBAs that will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible."
"This is an important investment for both Yulan Fire Department Inc. and the Pelham Manor Fire Department," Senator Gillibrand said. "It's our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities. The new air packs and turnout gear will help these fire departments respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives."
"The Yulan Fire Depart is very happy and pleased that we were selected by FEMA for this award," said Philip Johnson, Treasurer of the Yulan Fire Department.
Pelham Manor Fire Department Chief Joseph Ruggiero said, "We are grateful to our Senators and to FEMA, that they realize the need to assist local municipalities in supplying the necessary equipment for our firefighters to do their jobs more safely and effectively."
Located in southern Sullivan County, Yulan Fire Department Inc. is supported by approximately 100 members and responds to nearly 100 calls annually. Yulan Fire Department Inc. will use the federal funds to purchase 15 complete sets of turnout gear, which will help the first responders serve the local community at their highest level.
The Pelham Manor Fire Department will use the federal funds to purchase 18 new SCOTT SCBA's and 36 bottles for those units, which will help to upgrade the first responder's equipment. The Pelham Manor Fire Department is supported by 17 professional firefighters and 25 volunteer firefighters who serve their community in Westchester County, and respond to approximately 500 to 700 calls annually.
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.