On May 15, 2024, during a press conference, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced a push to provide a boost in federal funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program in the Fiscal Year 2025 appropriations bill.

This would provide funding for New York State local fire companies to purchase equipment and emergency vehicles, along with addressing staffing shortages.

Many New York State fire departments are relying on outdated equipment, and are dealing with staff shortages.

Fire departments across our state are operating with outdated fire trucks and protective gear, and replacing it can cost millions of dollars that many of them just don't have. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program provides federal funding to fill those gaps, allowing departments to buy new emergency response vehicles, personal protective gear, breathing apparatuses, infrared cameras, hazmat detection devices, and more. It also helps fire departments struggling with staffing shortages to hire or retain trained firefighters. Every year, I fight to include AFGP funding in the government spending bill and deliver money for hundreds of fire departments across New York State. This year, I’m calling for increased funding to address nationwide need. Firefighters put their lives on the line for us, and we owe it to them to provide the resources they need to do their jobs. - United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand 

According to the press conference, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program offers many types of grants. One is an assistance to firefighters grant, that assists New York State fire departments, so they then are able to acquire new emergency vehicles, protective gear, and equipment.

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Another is the Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant. This grant helps fire departments hire and retain trained firefighters to meet industry minimum standards and ensure 24-hour staffing.

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