Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that Bellevue Volunteer Fire Company has been awarded $158,312 in federal Homeland Security funding in the fourteenth round of Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFGP) awards for fiscal year 2007.
“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 in Cheektowaga with additional resources to protect themselves and the communities they serve.”
Bellevue Lt. Michael Fay stated that "This grant will help protect the men & women that protect our community. The grant provides for state of the art self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). These SCBAs, 33 in total, will be placed on every single truck so that no firefighter is ever left unprotected. Additionally, the SCBAs are outfitted with a special transmitter that allows a down firefighter to be located in an emergency."
Bellevue Fire Company is located on Como Park Boulevard and provides fire and rescue services to residents and businesses in the Town of Cheektowaga.
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. Lieutenant Fay attended two of the workshops hosted by the Congressman and credits the workshops with providing him with the information that led to this grant award.
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 two years, fire companies in Congressman Higgins’ district have received over $5 million dollars.
The 2007program, 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.
For more information about the grant program please contact Congressman Higgins’ office at 852-3501.