U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amstredam. (File photo)
WATERFORD, NY — Congressman Paul D. Tonko recently announced more than $345,000 was awarded in federal grants for two local first responder organizations.
According to a news release, in this round of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Fiscal Year 2022 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program, Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District No. 1 will receive $309,000 to acquire new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) and the Waterford Rescue Squad will receive $36,632.38 to purchase other critical new safety equipment.
“I’m committed to making certain that the brave men and women of our Capital Region fire departments and EMS squads have the resources they need to continue to serve our communities,” Tonko said in the release. “Our first responders put their lives on the line day after day to keep our families safe, and it is our responsibility as leaders to make sure they are properly equipped to safely face the challenges of their jobs.
“I’m thrilled to celebrate this significant infusion of federal funds, and I’ll always keep working to make sure that our local departments have the tools they need.”
“The Halfmoon Waterford Fire District #1 is extremely grateful to Congressman Tonko for his advocacy to help secure funding from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program under the direction of FEMA,” said Peter Semenza, Commissioner of the Halfmoon Waterford Fire District #1. “This vital financial support will allow our fire district to replace thirty-five of our Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA) which are nearing the end of their useful life.
“This equipment is crucial to the safety of our firefighters as it provides breathable air in hazardous fire conditions. With the help of this grant, the safety and welfare of the residents of our community will be preserved for the foreseeable future.”
“The Waterford Rescue Squad’s mission is to provide the best possible care to the community we serve,” said Tracy Weir, Chief of Operations for the Waterford Rescue Squad. “Being awarded this grant will help us to purchase new state-of-the-art equipment which will not only help us to provide the best care to our patients, but also reduce the risk of injuries to our providers.”
Each year, Tonko and his staff assist numerous local fire departments and EMS organizations by writing letters of support and helping to prepare their applications for these critical grants. The announcement marks the eighth round of the competitive Fiscal Year 2022 AFG announcements after previous rounds delivered more than $534,000 for fire departments in Troy, Watervliet, Scotia, Menands, and Ballston Lake.
The Fiscal Year 2021 AFG cycle delivered more than $1.72 million for departments in Albany, Burnt Hills, Colonie, Glenville, North Greenbush, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, South Glens Falls, and Troy.
The Fiscal Year 2022 AFG program will award hundreds of millions of dollars in competitive grants to fire departments, non-affiliated EMS organizations, and state fire training academies.