U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $230,286 in federal funding for the Inwood Fire Department to purchase 41 new self-contained breathing apparatus and 82 air bottles for its volunteer firefighters. According to the fire department, the new breathing apparatus are equipped with a location technology to help locate firefighters who may be trapped in a blaze. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program (AFG).
“This much-needed federal funding will provide the assistance that the Inwood Fire Department needs to purchase lifesaving equipment for our volunteer firefighters,” said Senator Schumer. “First-responders are our primary line of defense—they safeguard our residents and protect our property. It’s crucial that we provide our fire departments with state-of-the-art resources they need to do their jobs safely and to the best of their ability.”
“These federal funds will allow first-responders at the Inwood Fire Department to purchase the up-to-date equipment they need to do their jobs safely,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Every day our first-responders risk their lives to protect us, and I will always fight in the Senate to make sure our local fire departments have the support they need to keep their communities safe.”
“These funds will allow us to fund a purchase for new SCBAs replacing older models. The new SCBAs are equipped with technology which will allow us to locate and identify injured firefighters who are unable to call for help in a blaze, and it’s thanks to the AFG program and its federal supporters that we are able to afford them,” said Inwood Fire District Business Manager Joe Ruvolo.
The Inwood Fire Department serves a population of over 20,000 in the Five Towns, Valley Stream, Meadowmere Park, Atlantic Beach, and Long Beach. The Inwood Fire Department is made up of more than 100 members, all volunteers, and a fleet of 3 engines, 1 ladder truck, 1 heavy-rescue squad, 2 BLS ambulances, 4 boats, and other support vehicles.
In 2014, Chief Joseph Sanford Jr. was tragically killed in the line of duty while responding to a fire at a Woodmere home. Sanford was a 17-year veteran of the fire department. According to reports, Sanford was found trapped in the basement of the Woodmere home after falling through the first floor. Schumer and Gillibrand said that Inwood’s new technologically advanced breathing apparatus could help prevent similar tragedies in the future by locating any firefighters who may be trapped in a blaze. Moreover, Schumer has introduced legislation to rename a navigational channel on Long Island in honor of Chief Joseph Sanford, Jr.
The Assistance to Firefighters grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the Department’s United States Fire Administration. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program’s priorities and demonstrate financial need. Funding is allocated to strengthen emergency preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards.