Constituent Services
Congressman Higgins Announces $121,472 for Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company
January 18, 2008

Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that the Big Tree Fire Volunteer Fire Company will receive $121,472 in federal Homeland Security funding in the twenty-fourth 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 with additional resources to protect themselves and the communities they serve.”     


The fire company has 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.


Fire Chief Ron Klimowicz applauded the grant announcement, “The Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company would like to thank Congressman Higgins and Senator Stachowski for their committed dedication to not only the Big Tree Volunteer Fire Co. but all fire departments in Western New York. It is with their continued support, through grant assistance trainings and for the AFGP, that we can continue to provide the tax payers of our district and the town of Hamburg with some of the best fire fighting equipment and capabilities in western NY. Safety of our firefighters is imperative and through this latest effort, the Big Tree firefighters will be responding with some of the latest and safest equipment available today.”


Established in 1936, Big Tree Volunteer Fire Company is one of nine fire companies serving the Town of Hamburg.  Big Tree operates out of two stations, one on South Park Avenue and a substation on BayView Road.


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 $5 million dollars. 


The 2007 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.


For more information about the grant program please contact Congressman Higgins’ office at 852-3501. 

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