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Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $580,000 in Federal Funds for Suffolk County Fire Departments

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

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Suffolk County, NY - July 7, 2014 - United States Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that three fire departments on Suffolk County are set to receive a total of $583,786 in federal funding. The money was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
The Jamesport Fire Department is set to receive $24,791 in federal funding to purchase protective equipment for fire fighters. Some of these items include: eight helmets, eight fire resistant hoods worn under helmets, ten pairs of thermal pants with knee protection and four coats. The Medford Fire District is set to receive $476,820 in federal funding to purchase 82 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).  The Gordon Heights Fire District is set to receive $82,175 in federal funding to purchase diesel exhaust systems attached to six fire trucks. The systems provide for the filtering and venting of harmful fumes outside the vehicles.
“With this funding, first responders in Suffolk County can focus on their important work knowing they have new, reliable and protective equipment,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work as effectively and safely as possible.”
“This is an important investment for Suffolk County,” said Gillibrand. “When our first responders go into harm’s way, we need to make sure they have the right equipment to save lives. Federal funding will help our firefighters better serve their communities and save more lives.”
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, as well as 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 here.