AFG fire grants fund staffing, radios for 2 fire departments

Schumer, Gillibrand announce over $1 million in Federal funding for Troy & Schenectady Fire Departments

Senators say $$$ will help directly address the staffing shortages in Troy and will give Capital Region firefighters the tools they need to keep communities safe

In a news release from Senator Charles Schumer, over $1 million in AFG fire grants have been awarded to 2 Fire Departments in New York State:

Troy Fire Department Has Faced Staffing Challenges, Impacting Their Ability To Respond To Daily Emergencies & Schenectady Has Faced Similar Equipment Shortages

Senators Say Funding Will Be Used To Ensure Every Schenectady Firefighter Has Their Own Personal Radio For Emergencies & Will Train Troy Firefighter To Become Certified Paramedics Boosting Community Safety

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced over $1 million in federal funding for the City of Troy and Schenectady Fire Departments. Specifically, the Troy Fire Department will receive $702,545 and the Schenectady Fire Department will receive $417,032. The senators said that this will help directly address the staffing shortages at the Troy Fire Department and will give Schenectady firefighter the critical equipment they need to stay safe while fighting fires.  The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

“From the peak of the pandemic to battling a blaze, our brave Capital Region firefighters are always on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities. It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the training and equipment they need to keep our communities safe,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am proud to deliver this $1 million federal boost for our courageous Capital Region heroes to become certified paramedics and give the equipment they need to stay safe and be prepared to take on any emergency.”

“New York firefighters risk their lives to keep us safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We owe it to them to make sure they have the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs. I am proud to deliver this federal funding to address ongoing staffing and equipment shortages in the Troy and Schenectady fire departments and I’ll keep fighting to bring funding and resources to our brave firefighters.”

Chief Eric McMahon of the Troy Fire Department said, “This grant will fund the training of firefighters to the level of paramedic. This funding could not have come at a better time. As has been reported by several news outlets, the city of Troy has been struggling to hire certified paramedics. Thanks to Senator Schumer‘s office, this funding will go to train paramedics ensuring the highest level of patient care for the citizens and visitors to the city of Troy.”

Chief Donald Mareno of the Schenectady Fire Department said, “The Schenectady Fire Department is grateful to be awarded funds from the 2021 FEMA AFG program.  Accountability and safety of all of our members is of utmost importance.  The ability to provide each member of our fire department with a radio that has the ability to track their movements and identify their exact location will provide a level of safety that we have strived for, for many years.  “

The senators explained that the funding will go towards the purchase of portable radios to ensure all 112 City of Schenectady firefighters will have their own personal radio to ensure safety and seamless communication during times of emergency. In Troy, funding will be used to train their firefighters to become certified emergency medical technicians, which will significantly bolster the departments abilities to respond to emergencies , keep the community safe, and directly address the areas current staffing crisis.

The AFG Program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s 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 Program can be found here.

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