U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Congressmen Tim Bishop and Steve Israel announced today that the Smithtown Fire District will receive a federal grant of $84,825 in Round 22 of the FY12 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
Smithtown Fire District will use the federal funding to purchase a state-of-the-art vehicle exhaust extraction system manufactured by Nederman Corporation to be installed at the Fire Department's headquarters. Diesel exhaust, which is found in every fire station, contains many known or suspected carcinogenic compounds. The new exhaust system will attach directly to the tail pipes of emergency vehicles that are warming-up or idling in the headquarters and vent diesel fumes to the outside.
"With this funding, first responders in Smithtown can focus on their important work knowing that they have reliable new equipment," said Schumer. "This investment 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 Smithtown Fire District," said Senator Gillibrand. "It's our responsibility to ensure that our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment. This new system will help our firefighters respond to emergencies more safely and effectively, and help save more lives."
"Firefighters put their lives on the line to protect our communities, and they deserve the best technology available to ensure their fire houses are a safe and healthy environment," said Congressman Bishop. "I am pleased that the grant workshops I host each year helped the Smithtown Fire District make necessary equipment upgrades without burdening local taxpayers."
"Every day, the firefighters and personnel at the Smithtown Fire Department put their lives on the line to protect us. This funding will help provide them with the tools they need to keep our community safe," said Congressman Israel. "I commend the Smithtown firefighters for submitting an impressive plan to this competitive program that convinced DHS and FEMA how well deserved this grant and federal investment is."
"We plan to maintain the health and safety of our firefighters with the purchase of the equipment necessary to install a Nederman Vehicle Exhaust system at our Main Headquarters, and we would like to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressmen Bishop and Israel for their consideration and support," said Smithtown Fire District Commissioner Tom Buffa.
Officials from Smithtown Fire District have attended the fire grant workshops Congressman Bishop hosts each year with DHS personnel to give Long Island fire departments the tools they need to write successful AFG applications.
Schumer was a sponsor of the law creating the Operations and Fire Safety Program of the AFG, under which local governments and fire departments can receive help in covering the rising costs of fire prevention. The Operations and Firefighter Safety Program grant can be used for firefighter training, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
Administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the AFG is designed to strengthen the nation's ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards and improve the nation's overall level of preparedness. 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/