WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-Westchester/Rockland, has announced that two Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grants have been awarded to the White Plains Fire Bureau and the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Through the grants, the White Plains Fire Bureau received $361,646 to replace outdated breathing equipment, while the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps received $121,399 for two new defibrillators and 87 new EMS rescue turnout coats, helmets and gloves.
“Local emergency services providers play a critical role in protecting our neighborhoods and families,” Lowey said. “I am pleased that these two grants will better equip the White Plains Fire Bureau and the Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps to respond to emergencies. As ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working to ensure that first responders in Westchester have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”
Officials in White Plains and Ossining expressed their gratitude for the new equipment.
“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant will be used to replace our aging self-contained breathing apparatus,” said White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach. “The new equipment, which is compliant with national standards, will greatly improve the health and safety of our members and increase our effectiveness during emergency response."
Like Roach, Nick Franzoso, director of the Ossining Volutneer Ambulance Corps, said the equipment was a welcome addition.
“We are extremely grateful for the AFG program, which will allow us the ability to replace aging equipment and to provide OVAC with the latest tools to more effectively treat patients as well as protect our personnel,” he said. “I also couldn’t think of a better time to receive such great news than National EMS Week, as we are recognizing the dedication of EMS practitioners nationwide.”
The AFG award is a FEMA program offering grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS organizations and state fire training academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public.
Since fiscal year 2001, the AFG program has provided about $6.4 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain equipment, emergency vehicles and training.