U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the Dolgeville Volunteer Fire Department will receive $115,173 in the latest round of the fiscal year 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.
AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency and are designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
The Dolgeville Volunteer Fire Department will use the funding to purchase 14 new self-contained breathing apparatus sets and a cascade system which helps to fill air bottles.
“This is equipment that is desperately needed,” said Mayor Bruce Lyon during a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “The village doesn’t have the money to make this type of purchase, nor does the fire department, so it’s wonderful that these grant moneys have been approved. They certainly will be a great help.”
Lyon, who is also treasurer of the Dolgeville Volunteer Fire Department, said the department had applied for AFG funding the past two to three years.
He added the AFG program includes a 90/10 split, meaning the Dolgeville VFD will have to secure between $5,000 and $6,000 as its portion of the grant.
“Having to secure $5,000 or $6,000 to receive $115,000 is a great deal,” said Lyon.
“This community has faced disasters before and knows well the value of well-equipped first responders. With this funding, Dolgeville firefighters can focus on their important work knowing they have reliable new equipment,” said Schumer in a news release.
“These investments will help ensure our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible with updated breathing apparatus sets and a refilling system,” he added.
“This is an important investment for the Dolgeville Volunteer Fire Department,” said Gillibrand in a news release. “It’s our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities. The new self-contained breathing apparatus packs and cascade system will help the Dolgeville Volunteer Fire Department upgrade their emergency response equipment so their volunteer firefighters can respond to emergencies safely and more efficiently, and help save more lives.”
Schumer was an original sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of the 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 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.
Page 2 of 2 - 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 address the program’s priorities and demonstrate financial need.