Fire departments across New York are going to be getting a boost via FEMA.
US Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $2.34 million in federal funding for nine fire departments in Upstate New York to aid in recruitment and retention of volunteers.
Volunteer first responders are a critical part of the force in many communities. However, funding is often a big challenge.
The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program.
The Springport Fire District in Union Springs was the only one locally lucky enough to cash in on the funding. Other districts around Upstate receiving a cut of the funding included agencies in Albany, Middleburgh, Belmont, Pittsford, and Bushnell’s Basin.
The SAFER grant program was established by FEMA within DHS to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
For the Springport Fire Department it means $94,000.
“From the peak of the pandemic to normal times, our brave firefighters are always on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities,” said Senator Schumer. “These courageous first responders deserve all the federal support possible to help them do their jobs. I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our heroic firefighters, and I’m proud to deliver this funding so Upstate Fire Departments can actively recruit and resolve staffing issues without bearing the financial stress.”
“New York’s first responders have worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe throughout the COVID-19 outbreak,” added Senator Gillibrand. “As we enter fire season amidst a global pandemic, we must ensure our fire departments across New York have the resources needed to hire and retain firefighters. I will always fight to secure the funding our fire departments need to stay safe as they enter the line of duty.”
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