(WKBW release) New York Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Wednesday that the Lackawanna Fire Department will receive a grant totaling $272,000 in Round 5 of the FY11 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.
AFG awards are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and are designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
The Lackawanna Fire Department will use this funding to replace a sixteen-year-old pumper that is no longer appropriate for the department’s life-saving work. This will improve safety for first responders and victims in fire situations.
“This investment will be a big help for the Lackawanna Fire Department, as first responders will be better equipped to quickly and safely respond to hazardous emergencies in the area,” Schumer said in a news release. “I will continue to work for our heroes so that they can operate in life-threatening situations without the added hazard of outdated equipment. These funds will also guarantee that our local heroes will be able to purchase this equipment and improve their level of service to local residents."
Schumer was among the first senators who recognized the need for the federal government to establish a funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. The Vehicle Acquisition Program Area Funds go to purchasing pumpers, brush trucks, tankers/tenders, rescue vehicles, ambulances, aerials, foam units, and fireboats.
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.
Schumer added: “We can never truly repay our first responders for their heroic efforts and dedication to duty. However, we can ensure that they have the training, equipment and resources they need to do their job well. This federal money will help make sure that the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us get the resources they need to keep themselves and our communities safe.”