Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that the Greenport Fire District in Hudson, NY will receive $228,000 in federal grants in Round 19 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 Greenport Fire District will use this funding to purchase approximately 50 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs). The department's current SCBAs date from the 90's and replacement parts are no longer available for the machines.
"With this funding, Greenport fire fighters can focus on their important work, knowing they have new and reliable equipment," 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 Greenport Fire District," said Senator Gillibrand, who wrote to FEMA officials supporting Greenport's bid for federal funding. "It's our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities. The new SCBA units will help the Greenport Fire District respond to emergencies more efficiently and effectively, and help save more lives."
"On behalf of the firefighters, residents & taxpayers of the Town of Greenport, the Greenport Fire Department is extremely happy and thankful to FEMA for their award of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant," Greenport Fire District Chief Gary Mazzacano said. "This grant will be used to purchase new updated Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) which will replace ones that have been in service over 12 years and are at least 2 NFPA standards behind. The new SCBA's will significantly improve the safety of our firefighters. The grant will also be a substantial savings to the taxpayers. Our thanks to Senators Gillibrand, Schumer and Congressman Gibson for all their support in this important endeavor."
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.