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Senator Schumer Pushes to Increase Funds for Firefighters

Senator Charles Schumer is asking for a $130 million increase in local grant program funding.

The Senator says funds for career and volunteer Firefighters in Upstate New York are dangerously low and department needs are surpassing the available resources.

Schumer states that funds for the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant (SAFER) program have decreased since 2011. Schumer is urging a combined $810 million to be included for both programs in the fiscal year 2016 bill.

Schumer said, "We owe it to our brave Firefighters who risk life and limb to protect our community, to ensure they have the funding they need to purchase state of the art equipment and recruit and hire new Firefighters. My pledge is to fight tooth and nail to get an increase in funding in these two programs."

According to Schumer's report, last year in the Southern Tier, fire departments received 30 AFG grants and one SAFER grant, totaling to more than four million dollars.

The Senator says the budget is expected to be finished by December 11.