By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Two Otsego County fire departments are receiving money through the Assistance to Firefighters grant, a federal funding program that is awarding $11 million from FEMA to fire departments across the country.
Milford Fire Department and Richfield Springs Fire Department are both receiving money that will go toward replacing old and outdated equipment.
Milford FD is receiving over $40,000 dollars in grant money, which 2nd assistant chief Damon Weft said will be used for new battery-operated excavation equipment including the Jaws of Life®. He said the current set is over 32 years old.
Weft said the purchase of the new equipment will “give us better flexibility” in how they can use it in certain situations.
Milford FD is also receiving a separate grant from the Scriven Foundation which will replace and update old radio equipment.
Richfield Springs FD will be getting over $48,000 which they plan to use to replace all the fire hoses that they have.
“It feels good that they were able to acquire the money to replace the hoses,” Mark Elderkin, chief of Richfield Springs FD, said. Elderkin said some of the hoses were over 30 years old. He said they are going to color coordinate the hoses in order to line up with the pump panel.
Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made the announcement on Wednesday, Sept. 1, and said the funding would be used to help firefighters in New York State be better able to serve their communities.
“From the peak of the pandemic to now, our brave firefighters have always been on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities,” Schumer said. “These courageous first responders deserve all the federal support possible to help them do their jobs. I will always fight to bring more federal resources to support our heroic firefighters, and I’m proud to deliver this funding so New York’s fire departments have essential support they need as they keep New Yorkers safe in emergencies.”