U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $279,990 in federal funding for the Village of Spring Valley Fire Department and $79,906 for the Mountain Dale Fire District. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, and will be used by both departments to make equipment upgrades.
"With this funding, Hudson Valley firefighters will have better equipment to keep themselves safe as they protect others," said Senator Schumer. "This investment for new air packs and bottles in Spring Valley and turn out gear and face pieces in Mountain Dale 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 these Hudson Valley fire departments," said Senator Gillibrand. "When our first responders go into harm's way, we need to make sure they have the right equipment. This grant funding will help ensure Spring Valley and Mountain Dale's brave fire fighters are responding to emergencies equipped with the right resources so they can save more lives."
"I am extremely grateful and appreciative of this grant that will greatly enhance the safety of our firefighters and provide them with state-of-the-art equipment. This funding is especially important in light of several recent, severe fires in the Village. As always, my number one goal is safety for all Spring Valley residents. My thanks to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congresswoman Lowey for their continued assistance to Spring Valley," said Village of Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin.
"We're grateful to be awarded this grant to enhance firefighter safety and EMS efficacy," said Mountain Dale Fire Chief Andy Millman. "We're a small department, but we're essential the community, and we rely on these funds to update our equipment to adhere to State and federal mandates."
"We're excited that the hard work done by our firefighters and our senators resulted in a grant that will ultimately benefit our citizens," said Town of Fallsburg Supervisor, Steven Vegliante, who's also a firefighter in the Village of Woodridge.
The Spring Valley Fire Department -- the busiest volunteer fire department in Rockland County -- will use the grant funding to replace 51 Scott Air Packs. The department's current air packs are over 20 years old and are in need of major repairs and upgrades to meet current requirements. Also included will be air bottles to replace current equipment that is nearing its life limit.
The Mountain Dale Fire District will use the federal funding to purchase 16 new complete sets of turnout gear, and 17 full face piece assemblies. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require that such gear be new and meet current regulations. The District was also awarded funds for the purchase of three additional AEDs to maximize lifesaving capabilities. Representatives of the Mountain Dale Fire District attended an AFG workshop sponsored by Senator Gillibrand to help departments navigate the competitive grant process. Senator Gillibrand also wrote to FEMA officials in support of Mountain Dale's grant application. Her full letter is attached.
The AFG 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.
AFG 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.