Congressman Higgins Announces Over $909,000 for Ellicott Creek Fire Company
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced a federal fire grant awarded to the Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Company will allow the department to purchase a new fire truck. The grant, totaling $909,047, is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program (AFG).
“Volunteer firefighters selflessly put themselves at risk to protect their communities during emergencies,” said Congressman Higgins. “This federal grant will provide essential funding for safe and modern equipment, so the department has the protections it needs when responding to structure fires.”
“Safety is critical in improving our firefighters’ ability to respond to emergencies,” said Chief Paul Dusel. “This federal funding will allow us to purchase new, reliable equipment so our members can confidently protect buildings in our community and in mutual aid areas without putting a financial strain on the department.”
The Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Department will use the funding to purchase a new aerial truck, which will replace the 39-year-old truck that is currently in use. The old truck puts firefighters at risk, because it lacks modern safety features and experiences frequent mechanical failures. The new truck is essential to the department’s ability to respond to emergencies in buildings over four stories, at industrial parks, and in critical infrastructure across the district, as well as its surrounding areas. It will not only protect the 52 volunteer members at Ellicott Creek, but also 200 firefighters and 200,000 residents in their eight mutual and automatic aid communities.
The AFG program awards grants directly to fire departments, non-affiliated EMS organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTA) to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as first responders. The awards are administered by DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration and major fire service organizations.
Since 2001, the AFG program has awarded over 7.7 billion in grants to first responders that provide critical resources to equip and train emergency personnel, enhance operational efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support community resilience. In 2020, Congress authorized $319.5 million to support the ability of fire departments to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
To learn more about the AFG program, the guidance, and application tools, visit https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters.