Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron W. Brown and Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, announced that the City of Buffalo received a $322,000 grant for the Buffalo Fire Department. The competitive Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide funding for new equipment and training that will enhance the skills and capacities of Buffalo firefighters. Mayor Brown said, “This award represents another step in our Fire Department’s evolution into a modern multi-skilled force capable of responding effectively to a number of different types of calls and emergencies. I want to congratulate Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, his leadership team and my grants team for putting together a successful application that will support critical life-saving and rescue operations.” The grant funding will be used to obtain Swift Water Rescue equipment and training, support the City’s AED Replacement Program Initiative, purchase specialized Personal Protective Equipment for Rescue Task Force Personnel, and completion of EMS certification skills and CPR certification for all members. The grant will also be used to send 65 personnel (10 officers and 55 firefighters) to EMT and Mass Casualty Incident Response Training. “It is absolutely crucial that we provide our firefighters with the equipment they need to stay safe on the job. These first responders are heroes, and our first line of defense in an emergency,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “The least we can do is ensure that they’re ready to save lives using the most up-to-date equipment and techniques. This federal funding will do just that and allow the firefighters in the City of Buffalo to go about their jobs without having to worry about their gear.” “I am happy to announce this funding for the Buffalo Fire Department which will help purchase new equipment and provide critical training to our firefighters as they work to keep our communities safe,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “We need to support our first responders and ensure that they can stay safe and be prepared to defend and protect their communities. I will continue fighting in the Senate for the resources that our local fire departments need.” Congressman Brian Higgins said, “Buffalo is home to an incredible team of professional firefighters who step into dangerous situations each and every day committed to the protection of our neighbors and this community as a whole. This sizable federal grant will support further specialized training and additional tools to facilitate preparedness and response across the City.” As the role of first-responders evolves, members of the Buffalo Fire Department are increasingly relied upon to assist residents in a variety of ways. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant will ensure that Department personnel are trained to respond effectively to a diverse set of medical and rescue calls. The City of Buffalo Fire Department is the largest professional firefighting force in New York State outside of New York City. There are 719 personnel in the Department, consisting of 170 officers and 549 firefighters. Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo said, “This grant was only possible with the support of Mayor Brown, his staff and the many hours of hard work from my Command Team. Their efforts resulted in funding that enhances the Buffalo Fire Department’s rescue and EMS capabilities across a wide spectrum, which ensures firefighter safety, as well as the safety and security of Buffalo’s residents.” The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), provides competitive grants to fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, and to establish or expand fire prevention programs throughout the United States. All applications are submitted to DHS and go through a non-partisan, merit-based review ranked by factors established by a panel of fire service professionals. Congress approved $315 million for the FY2018 AFG program to support fire departments, safety and readiness efforts nationwide.