Schumer pushes for continuation of fire department grants

City of Watertown Fire Department
City of Watertown Fire Department(WWNY)
Published: Mar. 5, 2023 at 3:59 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The SAFER grant program, a program created to provide funding to fire departments increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters available, was created by US Senator Chuck Schumer who is trying to help keep it from being eliminated.

Schumer announced last week that both the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response or SAFER grant and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant or AFG are at risk of being cut. In response, the senate introduced the Fire Grants and Safety Act to make sure the programs are funded until 2030.

Schumer says these programs have been a lifeline for firefighters and have become essential to their continued operations.

“I’m standing with our upstate fire fighters and I am promising them I will not stop until this passes. When it comes to protecting the firefighters, spare no expense, local fire departments deserve state of the art equipment and to be able to adequately staff their fire departments and not worry about the bottom line,” said Schumer.

Schumer says since the start of these programs in 2002, the grants have delivered nearly $700 million in federal funding to NY firefighters, including over $23 million in federal funding last year alone.