Federal Grant to Allow for Better Communication Between Public Safety Agencies
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) and City of Lackawanna Mayor Norm Polanski joined Lackawanna Fire Chief Ralph Galanti to announce the Department has been awarded a federal fire grant totaling $156,172.
“These resources will allow public safety agencies to better communicate in emergency situations and improve safety for the over 19,000 Lackawanna residents and the greater Lackawanna community,” said Congressman Higgins.
“This grant is greatly appreciated and will help to better protect the citizens of Lackawanna as well as members of the fire department” stated Mayor Polanski.
The Lackawanna Fire Department will be using the federal grant to purchase new communication gear for the firefighters, dispatch center and fire trucks. The equipment will include new portable radios, charging units, vehicle radios and notebook computers for the fire trucks.
Fire Chief Galanti explained the Department was provided with a new frequency last year and the updated equipment will allow the Department to be interoperable with Erie County and the surrounding fire departments.
Each year Congressman Higgins hosts a fire grant workshop where participants are invited to learn first-hand from a Department of Homeland Security Fire Grant Specialist how to put together a qualifying application. All applications are then submitted to DHS and go through a non-partisan, merit based review ranked by factors established by a panel of fire service professionals. Over the last 5 years 118 fire departments in Congressman Higgins’ district have received over $13 million in federal fire grants.
The Department was awarded this grant under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) which makes funds available for Operations and Safety improvements including: training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness, and safety modification to the station and facilities. These awards are administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
Last year Congress approved $390 million for the AFG program which provides direct assistance to firefighters to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs and to establish or expand fire prevention programs in the U.S.