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PWFD Scores $500K Federal Grant

Investment will go towards recruiting 4 firefighters, education.

The Port Washington Fire Department will receive more than $500,000 in federal funding. The money will be used to recruit four additional firefighers. 

News of the grant was announced by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, Wednesday. The grant totals $507,200 in Round 8 of the 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security administers SAFER awards, which are designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards and improve the nation’s overall level of preparedness.

“With these funds, Port Washington residents can rest easy knowing even more firefighters stand at the ready to protect their community,” Schumer said, in a statement. “With the Port Washington Fire Department’s new hires, our local heroes will have the more personnel on their team to save lives.”

"This award will bolster and enhance the response of our volunteer firefighters in responding to emergencies, especially during the day-time hours when many volunteers are at work, or in school," noted said Robert Kropacek, who chairs the PWFD's Board of Directors.

Kropacek added that the PWFD "has not yet reviewed the possibility of continuing the program past its two year period of performance. We are grateful for the work of Senator Schumer and his staff in seeing this award through to fruition.

Schumer was a sponsor of the legislation that led to the creation of this funding program for local governments and fire departments to help defray the rising costs of equipment and fire prevention. The Operations and Firefighter Safety Program funds can go towards training, equipment, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.

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 volunteer, combination and career 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. 

Patch Checker December 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Also - in reply to whether the money should be available, I probably agree - if it doesn't come out of one pocket, it will come out of another. Bottom line though, is if the money is available, kudos to the PWFD to grab it. Hate the game, not the players.
sadeto December 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM
As far as I know, and I've only been working under Federal grants and contracts for 25 years, there is no "25% overhead charge" to "support the Federal bureaucracy" Bob Young, you'll have to cite your sources there. If you look at the funding for the SAFER program, and the size of the office that administers it, that's just an absurd statement. Considering that when an agency does use the GSA to administer a contract vehicle, for example, the administrative surcharge is between 1 and 3 percent, WTF are you talking about?? The article indicates this grant is for hiring people for a two-year POP, so that $125,000 is to cover one person for two years. That's not outrageous. What's sad is that this is to cover staffing for what is supposed to be primarily a volunteer force. It would be nice to see the grant details, I couldn't find them. If this is to cover EMT's, who are paid, that would be understandable since the actual incidence of house fires is down while medical-related calls are up.
Patch Checker December 27, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Just a heads up - you can't believe everything you read on the internet. This whole thing could have been reported better. Not sure what Bob Young's agenda is, but clearly wrong on multible accounts. Nice lights though.
NYB December 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I don't drink, I have a significant other and family and a superb career path...what else ya got?
Michael Neil December 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM
It's wonderful that our community won this generous grant to improve and enhance various aspects of our fire protection service, including the addition of 4 more firefighters for what appears to be a two year period, and training. Our dedicated fire personnel should have all that is available to make fulfilling their duties to protect the community as effective and safe as possible.

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