SENATOR CLINTON ANNOUNCES OVER $400,000 IN FEDERAL FIREFIGHTER GRANTS FOR NEW YORK
February 11, 2004 : Washington, DC - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) announced today that the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate (EP&R) of the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) has awarded $415,855 to seven fire departments in New York in the 33rd round of federal grant approvals under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.
"Fire departments around the state are short-staffed, suffering under the strain of budget cuts and reduced numbers. And with the cold weather predicted to continue, our firefighters need help and they need it fast. That is why I am pleased to announce these grants, because they represent a clear commitment to our firefighters," Senator Clinton said.
"Every dollar that our local departments receive means extra resources not only to help them fight fires but to help them respond to other emergencies," Senator Clinton said. "Every day our firefighters put their lives on the line for us. We should do everything we can to ensure that they have the resources, equipment and training they need."
The Firefighter Improvement and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act directly funds training, wellness and fitness activities, firefighting equipment acquisition, and personal protective equipment acquisition for individual fire departments. Funding may be used for the purchase of firefighting equipment, funding firefighter health and safety programs, enhancing emergency medical services programs, and conducting fire prevention and safety programs.
The funds are being distributed as a result of the $750 million that Congress appropriated for FIRE Act grants in the Fiscal Year 2003 Consolidated Appropriations bill. Nationally, fire departments receiving the awards represent a cross section of the nation's fire service, including those from urban, suburban and rural areas as well as those made up of paid and volunteer firefighters and those that are a combination of both. FEMA and the USFA expect to announce grants weekly until all of the $750 million in FIRE Act grants are awarded. Since June of 2003, over 8400 fire departments have received almost $673 million to support their role as first responders in the neighborhoods and communities they serve as firefighters, with over $33 million going to New York.
Senator Clinton has continuously fought for full funding of the FIRE Act and for passage of the "Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters Act of 2003" ("SAFER Act"), to provide funding over seven years to help our nation's fire departments hire an additional 75,000 fire fighters. Senator Clinton was also proud to announce the Senate passage of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Fire Fighters Act of 2003 (SAFER) Act proposal, which was included in the Department of Defense Authorization bill. This legislation provides approximately $7.6 billion over a 7-year period.
In January 2003, Senator Clinton introduced a resolution calling for full funding for first responders. She also co-sponsored an amendment to the budget resolution offered by Senator Dodd, which sought to provide more funding for the FIRE Act as well as fund the SAFER Act for Fiscal Year 2004.
Senator Clinton also fought for more funding for firefighters and other first responders in the "Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003." She is also the author of the "Homeland Security Block Grant Act of 2003," which would provide direct funding to our communities and first responders to help them with their homeland security needs.
A list of grants awarded to New York State in this round is listed below. Lists of grant awards are posted regularly on their web site at www.usfa.fema.gov
Fire Department Name $ City
ROMBOUT FIRE COMPANY $ 38,700 FISHKILL
Rombout plans on using the Grant to purchase a Fire Prevention Trailer. More details about the trailer will be released soon.