Collins Fire Department lands grant

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $216,482 in federal funding for Collins Fire District. The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The funds will be used to purchase new bottles, face pieces, and air packs to replace their self-contained breathing apparatus, which are all approximately 20 years old.

“These much-needed federal funds will provide the assistance that the Collins Fire District needs to replace critical equipment like their aging air tanks and breathing apparatus. 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 support to purchase the equipment they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability,” said Senator Schumer.

“Every day first responders put their lives on the line to protect our families and keep our communities safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Ensuring they have the right equipment to save lives and protect themselves is critically important. I am pleased the Collins Fire Department will be able use this funding to get the tools they need to continue to serve their community and save more lives.”

Dave Duncan, the Vice President and Treasurer of the Collins Fire District, said, “These new airpacks are going to bring our equipment up to standard and ensure that our firefighters are safe.”

With this federal funding, the Department will replace their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) from the early 1990’s. This funding will secure the procurement of 25 new apparatuses, which include 50 bottles, 25 face pieces, and 25 air packs.

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. More information on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program can be accessed at www.firegrantsupport.com/.

There are 87 active volunteers in the Collins Fire District between the firefighters, EMS volunteers, and fire police. They operate two different firehouses and four fire engines. Their grant allotment of $216,482 is more than their annual budget of about $200,000 plus fundraising. They service a very rural community with a radius of 42 miles.