Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Goldfeder Announces SAFER Grants for Volunteer Fire Departments

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder

Announces open application for Fiscal Year 2015 FEMA Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants

Goldfeder urges local volunteer fire departments to apply for $340 million in grants to improve communities' staffing and deployment capabilities

Goldfeder: Our vollies help form the first line of defense during emergencies

Broad Channel, Queens - Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D - Broad Channel) today announced the open application for the current round of Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). With $340 million available nationwide to fund improvements to staffing and deployment capabilities, Assemblyman Goldfeder is urging local volunteer fire departments to consider applying for the grants. 

"The brave men and women of our local volunteer fire departments help form the first line of defense during emergencies. True to their name, the SAFER grants are great opportunity for our departments to improve their life-saving capabilities and make the whole community a stronger, safer place," said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. "I urge every department across southern Queens and Rockaway to consider applying for this great opportunity."

Assemblyman Goldfeder announced that, beginning February 22nd, 2016, FEMA will be accepting applications for its current round of SAFER grants. According to FEMA, the $340 million in federal funds allocated to the program will go directly to municipal and volunteer fire departments to "increase or maintain the number of trained 'front line' fire fighters in the community." This, FEMA states, is intended to help reduce response times and increase the number of trained personnel assembled at the scene of emergencies. 

Eligible volunteer fire departments may apply for funding in two program categories: Hiring of Firefighters, and Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters. For both categories, a Peer Review Panel will judge applications based on criteria including a department's staffing needs, potential benefits to the department and the larger community, impact on daily operations, and overall financial needs. Municipalities, career fire departments and fire districts are also eligible to apply for grants under the Hiring of Firefighters category. 

During Fiscal Year 2014 (the last round of grants awarded), more than $8 million was doled out to fire departments across New York State. With five volunteer fire departments and numerous FDNY members in his district, Assemblyman Goldfeder is urging all eligible departments to apply for this current round of funding. This call for applications follows efforts in recent years by Goldfeder to help secure funding for local departments through multiple state and private sources to aid their recovery from the damage of Superstorm Sandy. 

The deadline to submit applications is Friday, March 25, 2016. Fire departments are encouraged to contact Assemblyman Goldfeder's office by phone at (718) 945-9550 or via email at goldfederp@assembly.state.ny.us for more information. 

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