Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that two fire companies in West Seneca and Cheektowaga will receive a total of $198,330 in federal Homeland Security funding in the eleventh round of Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFGP) awards for fiscal year 2008.
“Each and every day our firefighters fulfill a selfless mission and put their lives on the line to save the lives of their neighbors,” said Congressman Higgins. “This funding provides our local first responders with additional resources to protect themselves and the communities they serve.”
West Seneca Fire District No. 1 will receive $132,098 and Walden Fire District No. 2 in Cheektowaga has been granted $66,232. The fire companies have been awarded this grant under the AFGP Operations and Safety Program which makes funds available for training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and health and safety modifications to stations and facilities.
Walden Fire District Chief Rick Chojnacki explained the funding they receive will be used toward the purchase of a diesel exhaust system for the engine room, a smart board for training and exercise equipment.
Over the last several years Congressman Higgins has hosted fire grant workshops where participants are invited to learn first hand from a DHS Fire Grant Specialist how to put together a qualifying application. All applications are then submitted to DHS and go through a non-partisan, merit based review ranked by factors established by a panel of fire service professionals. Over the last several years, fire companies in Congressman Higgins’ district have received over $6.6 million dollars.
The 2008 program, which Congress appropriated, and President Bush signed into law, includes $500 million in direct assistance to firefighters to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, and to establish or expand fire prevention programs throughout the United States. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness (SLGCP) administers the program, in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
For more information about the grant program please contact Congressman Higgins’ office at 716-852-3501.