Washington, D.C. - Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) joined Newburgh Fire Chief Michael Vatter and newly hired firefighters at a live burn training exercise. Earlier this year, Rep. Maloney secured an investment for $2,400,000 to hire fifteen new firefighters through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program - Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER). Although their grant application was initially denied, Rep. Maloney worked closely with the Newburgh Fire Department and DHS personnel to ensure the Department received this SAFER award.
“Working step-by-step with Newburgh Fire Department, we cut through red tape and secured this strategic investment that not only creates jobs, but adds valuable personnel to make our community safer,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “Most career trainings don’t require search and rescue exercises or charging into a burning building, so I commend our heroes who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our families, homes, and businesses.”
"In an age of cuts, the Newburgh Fire Department is pleased to have a Congressman who is willing to fight for us. Because Representative Maloney refused to take no as an answer, our 15 new firefighters will be on the job shortly improving safety," said Chief Michael Vatter, Newburgh Fire Department. "We appreciate Representative Maloney visiting our programs building successful firefighters."
Once the training process is complete, the department will approach a staffing level unseen since the 1970s.
The goal of the SAFER grant program is to enhance the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire related hazards. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security 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. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/ .