Gillibrand announces passage of legislation to provide funding and resources to local fire departments

Kirsten Gillibrand

Final Passage of the Reauthorization Bill Would Continue Vitally Important Federal Funding to Local Fire Departments Across New York

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will announce the passage of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant Program Reauthorization bill at the City of Norwich Fire Department in Chenango County. The City of Norwich Fire Department has received nearly $90,000 this year in AFG grants.

“This bill will ensure the continuation of vitally important federal funds that our first responders rely on for the training, equipment, and staffing they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to do everything we can to protect our first responders when they risk their lives to keep us safe, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure they are given the support they deserve.”

“Since it’s inception the City of Norwich Fire Department has actively applied for assistance from the Assistance to Firefighter Grant. On several occasions we have been successful with our application. To date we have received funding for firefighter protective clothing, Advanced life support heart monitors/Defibulators, Communications Equipment, Self-contained breathing apparatus and most recently this year funding to install a direct-vent vehicle exhaust system to remove any exhaust contaminants from our fire station. Several hundreds of thousands of dollars have been awarded to the City of Norwich Fire Department over the years. Without these funds the burden of cost would fall on our local taxpayers. The AFG program is an important opportunity for funding to help maintain the safety and operational capabilities of fire departments across the country,” said City of Norwich Fire Department Chief Tracy Chawgo.

The AFG and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act extends authorization of these programs through Fiscal Year 2023. The Senate passed this legislation last week, and it now moves to the House of Representatives.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant programs 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 AFG and SAFER grant programs can be accessed at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.

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