2 N.Y. capital-area FDs to receive nearly $1M in U.S. grants to address staff shortages
Troy Fire Chief Eric McMahon: "This grant will fund the training of firefighters to the level of paramedic. This funding could not have come at a better time"
TROY, N.Y. — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced more than $1 million in federal funding for the City of Troy and Schenectady Fire Departments. Specifically, the Troy Fire Department will receive $702,545 and the Schenectady Fire Department will receive $417,032.
The senators said that this will help directly address the staffing shortages at the Troy Fire Department and will give Schenectady firefighters the critical equipment they need to stay safe while fighting fires. The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.
"From the peak of the pandemic to battling a blaze, our brave Capital Region firefighters are always on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities. It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the training and equipment they need to keep our communities safe," Schumer said.
"That is why I am proud to deliver this $1 million federal boost for our courageous Capital Region heroes to become certified paramedics and give them the equipment they need to stay safe and be prepared to take on any emergency," Schumer noted.
"New York firefighters risk their lives to keep us safe," Gillibrand remarked.
"We owe it to them to make sure they have the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs. I am proud to deliver this federal funding to address ongoing staffing and equipment shortages in the Troy and Schenectady fire departments and I'll keep fighting to bring funding and resources to our brave firefighters," Gillibrand explained.
Troy Fire Chief Eric McMahon also spoke about the importance of grant funding for replenishing their ranks.
"This grant will fund the training of firefighters to the level of paramedic. This funding could not have come at a better time. As has been reported by several news outlets, the city of Troy has been struggling to hire certified paramedics. Thanks to Senator Schumer's office, this funding will go to train paramedics ensuring the highest level of patient care for the citizens and visitors to the city of Troy," McMahon added.
The senators explained that the funding will go toward the purchase of portable radios to ensure all 112 City of Schenectady firefighters will have their own personal radio to ensure safety and seamless communication during times of emergency.
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Our current organizational structure causes authority-responsibility mismatches, creating frustration for everyone
In Troy, funding will be used to train their firefighters to become certified emergency medical technicians, which will significantly bolster the departments' abilities to respond to emergencies, keep the community safe, and directly address the areas current staffing crisis.
The AFG Program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the Department's United States Fire Administration. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program's priorities and demonstrate financial need.
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