Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) and Congressman Thomas Reynolds (NY-26) announced the Depew Volunteer Fire Department will receive $133,618 in federal Homeland Security funding in the third round of Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFGP) awards for fiscal year 2007.
“Each and every day our firefighters fulfill a selfless mission that puts 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.”
“Our volunteer firefighters sacrifice their time and lay their lives on the line for our safety. In return they must be given the best tools available to do this vital work. This funding will improve the safety of Depew firefighters and residents. By bringing critical new emergency equipment to this area, this grant will give our first-responders the tools they need to best protect themselves, our community and our families," said Congressman Tom Reynolds.
The Depew Volunteer Fire Department operates six fire companies, the first of which was established in 1894. Depew Fire is the largest volunteer staffed department in Erie County providing fire and rescue services to the Village of Depew and back-up assistance to neighboring communities. The department was awarded this grant under the Operations and Firefighter Safety Program, which is dedicated to funding training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
“With diminishing resources available at the local level this federal program has provided the Depew Volunteer Fire Department with the vital equipment needed to serve our community,” said Depew Fire Chief Peter Michaels. “This grant will allow the department to purchase new turnout gear for our firefighters. In previous years we have used federal grant funds to purchase radio systems that allow for better emergency communication.”
The 2007AFG program, which Congress appropriated, and President Bush signed into law, includes $490 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.