Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 28, 2014

Federal funds headed to Lewiston firefighters

Niagara Gazette — U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Friday that they have secured $159,828 in federal funding for the Lewiston Fire District.

The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. 

The funding will be used to purchase 30 new self-contained breathing apparatuses. The air-packs help firefighters breathe inside burning buildings and hazardous environments. 

“These much-needed federal funds will help the Lewiston Fire Department purchase new breathing apparatuses that will keep firefighters safe and make them more effective,” Schumer said. “Our first responders are our primary line of defense – they safeguard our residents and protect our property. It’s crucial that we provide them with the cutting-edge equipment they need to do their jobs and save lives.”

The Lewiston Fire District provides protection for 13,000 people.

“This investment will help the Lewiston Fire Department continue to save lives while protecting themselves,” Gillibrand said. “When our first responders go into harm’s way, it’s our job to ensure they have the right equipment and I am pleased the Lewiston Fire Department will get funding for critical equipment that will help them continue to serve their community safely.”

The receipt of the federal funding was welcome news to Lewiston blaze busters.

“This equipment will replace our outdated, noncompliant breathing apparatuses, and will be used to keep our firefighters safe on a daily basis,” Fire Chief John Penzotti said.  

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security 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. 

More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at www.fema.gov/firegrants.

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