GFD gets $160K in federal funds

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland Fire District is being awarded $159,587.62 for emergency-response equipment, personal protective equipment, and training.

Congressman Paul D. Tonko submitted a letter of support requesting consideration of funds for the grant, which was provided through the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grants program.

“Even as this historic pandemic rages on, our firefighters continue to work tirelessly on the front lines to protect us ...,” Tonko said in a release announcing the award on Thursday. “My heartfelt thanks to our firefighters for their continued commitment and sacrifice in the face of danger. The critical need for resources for our essential workers is one of the many reasons why Congress must move forward with our HEROES Act or some other means of funding to prevent major layoffs and cuts by local governments on the brink.”

The HEROES  [Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions] Act was passed by the Democratic House of Representatives in May. A compromise has not been reached with the Republican Senate, which put forth the HEALS [Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection and Schools] Act without substantial funds for state and local governments.

“This award will provide funding for self-contained breathing apparatus that were long overdue for replacement,” said Brian Forte, district administrator for the Guilderland Fire Department, in the release. “This grant is substantial and will save the taxpayers of our district and our department money, which is especially important during these difficult times. We’re ecstatic to hear the news. The funding will be put to great use to protect our firefighters and our community.”

The program will award approximately $315 million in competitive grants to fire departments, non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations, and state fire-training academies.

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