Schenectady County

Grant to help Scotia fire company purchase new turnout gear

The Scotia Fire Department will receive $31,464 to buy new gear.

The Scotia Fire Department will receive $31,464 to buy new gear.

“With this funding, Scotia firefighters can focus on their important work knowing that they have reliable new equipment,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a news release announcing the grant Thursday. “These investments will help ensure that our local heroes can continue their life-saving work and will enable them to respond as effectively and safely as possible with new turnout gear.”

The Scotia Fire Department was given the funds as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The program is “designed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.”

With the new funding, the Scotia Fire Department plans to “purchase 20 new sets of turnout gear for firefighters.” The current gear is a decade old.

Both Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand took credit for helping steer the funding to the Scotia Fire Department. Gillibrand sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency saying that the department needed funds to help update some of its equipment.

Scotia Fire Department Chief Charles Keller is excited at the opportunity to upgrade the department’s personal protection gear.

“The Scotia Fire Department is a combination department comprised of 13 career and 15 volunteer firefighters,” he said. “This Assistance to Firefighter Grant award will enable us to replace 14 complete sets of NFPA-compliant firefighter turnout gear. The members of the Scotia Fire Department are extremely grateful …  Without this grant the purchase of the new personal protective equipment would not be possible.”

“It’s our responsibility to ensure our first responders have the most up-to-date equipment to serve our communities,” Gillibrand said in a news release. “The turnout gear will help the Scotia Fire Department upgrade their emergency response equipment so that their firefighters can respond to emergencies in the community safely and more effectively, and help save more lives.”

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