SARATOGA SPRINGS — Congressman Paul D. Tonko announced on August 30, that the City of Saratoga Springs Fire Department will be awarded $240,140.90 in federal funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The funding will enable the department to replace and update self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and face pieces.
“Every day, our brave Capital Region firefighters work tirelessly to keep our communities safe,” Congressman Tonko said. “We must make certain that these courageous men and women, who put everything on the line for our families, have the training, equipment and manpower they need to protect themselves as they fight to protect all of us. I’m proud to deliver this critical funding to update equipment for the Saratoga Springs Fire Department, and I give my heartfelt thanks to our firefighters for their continued commitment and sacrifice in the face of danger.”
“[The] self-contained breathing apparatus is the most critical component for all firefighting operations. This grant award will allow the Saratoga Springs Fire Department to serve the community better and ensure our firefighters’ safety. I would personally like to thank our federal government representatives and the Department of Homeland Security - FEMA for granting us this award,” said City of Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Joseph Dolan. “Our existing self-contained breathing apparatus[es] are nearing the end of their service life. The newer self-contained breathing apparatus[es] are lighter weight, have a more comfortable backpack frame, have increased air capacity and are designed with newer technology and safety equipment,” said Dolan in a press release.
Each year, Congressman Tonko and his staff assist numerous local fire departments in preparing their applications for these critical grants. The announcement in August marks the fourth round of the competitive fiscal year 2021 AFG announcements, with round one delivering a total of $1,119,577 for the Capital Region for places like the Troy Fire and Schenectady Fire Departments.
The AFG Program will award an unprecedented $414 million in competitive grants to fire departments, non-affiliated EMS organizations, and state fire training academies. This includes an additional $100 million for the AFG Program provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).