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Sean Patrick Maloney

09/26/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/26/2022 14:09

Maloney and Ryan Celebrate Funding Secured for Local Firefighters

Newburgh, NY - Today, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and Rep. Pat Ryan (NY-19) were hosted by firefighters from the Arlington Fire District to celebrate $166,144 in new funding through a federal Assistance for Firefighters Grant. Rep. Maloney worked closely with the Arlington Fire District to secure this grant, which will fund additional training to keep the Hudson Valley safe. Representatives Maloney and Ryan also reiterated a call for FEMA to approve a SAFER grant for the Arlington Fire District, which would provide additional funding for their operations.

"First responders like the brave men and women of Arlington Fire District are essential to keeping our communities safe, and I've been honored to work with them over the past year to secure this funding," said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). "Today, I am proud to announce an over $160,000 Assistance for Firefighters Grant that will fund local training for over 45 firefighters and help Arlington Fire District be better prepared to protect the Town of Poughkeepsie if disaster strikes. I will keep working with the Arlington Fire District to get them their SAFER grant and any other resources they need to keep our communities safe, as I have done throughout my time in Congress, bringing nearly $13 million home to firefighters across our district."

"As Ulster County Executive, I worked hand-in-hand with our local fire departments and saw firsthand their bravery, skill, and dedication - whether responding to house fires or wildfires," said Rep. Pat Ryan (NY-19). "This funding represents a crucial step to getting the Arlington Fire District the resources they need to keep our families safe. In Congress, I will keep fighting to ensure that all of our fire departments across the 19th District get the support they need and deserve, and I join Congressman Maloney in calling on FEMA to approve SAFER funding for this department."

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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and Rep. Pat Ryan (NY-19) were joined by local elected leaders and firefighters from the Arlington Fire District, includingArlington Fire District Department Chief William Steenbergh, Arlington Fire District Battalion Chief Adam Kangas, and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett.

Select highlights from their remarks are available below. Full footage of the press conference, photos, and remarks by all speakers can be found [here].

"On behalf of the board of fire commissioners, officers, and members of the Arlington Fire District, and most importantly, the residents of the Town of Poughkeepsie, I want to extend my most sincere thanks to Congressman Maloney for his ongoing support of the Arlington Fire District over the last ten years," said William A. Steenbergh, Department Chief, Arlington Fire District. "Federal grants like FEMA's Assistance to Firefighters Grant and the SAFER Grant program represent critical assistance to local fire departments from the federal government. These grants are truly vital for agencies like Arlington to maintain our exceptionally high level of service, not only to our community, but also enable us to function as an invaluable asset throughout the region."

"Technical rescue […] comes with a financial burden that most agencies aren't able to hold on their own. Thanks to Congressman Maloney and his staff, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant will enable the Arlington Fire District to train its entire job to the operations level of trench rescue and more than three-quarters of the job to the technician level in trench rescue," said Adam Kangas, Battalion Chief, Arlington Fire District. "We'll also be able to use state-of-the-art props and set up realistic scenarios that will just further the training and enhance their knowledge of the subject."

"This is what government working together looks like. Federal government, state government, we work together, we talk together, and we get things done," said Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (AD-106). "And when we see things like the change in climate that's causing the kinds of floods and the kinds of disasters […] that Ulster County has just gone through this year, it's critical that we have the workforce and the first responders who are trained to be able to address that."

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Background on Efforts to Support the Arlington Fire District:

  • Assistance for Firefighters Grant:
    • Rep. Maloney worked closely with Arlington Fire District to secure this grant, including by sending a letter of support in February 2022.
    • The $166,144 Assistance for Firefighters Grant will be used to provide both classroom and hands-on training to Fire District firefighters in trench rescue.
    • Trench rescue is a highly specialized skill used in dangerous situations when individuals become trapped in a collapsing ditch or trench which must be stabilized before rescue can be safely accomplished.
    • Training will be conducted within the Fire District, saving costs associated with traveling to the New York State academy or other locations where this training is typically offered.
    • Following training, at least 45 firefighters will be certified as trench rescue technicians.
  • Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant:
    • In addition to working with the Arlington Fire District to secure the Assistance for Firefighters Grant, Rep. Maloney has been working with the Fire District to secure a SAFER Grant.
    • A SAFER Grant will help the Fire District maintain the staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association.
    • Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested payroll and staff information from the Fire District, a strong indication of ongoing, serious consideration.
    • Rep. Maloney first sent a letter of support for the SAFER Grant in February 2022 and will be sending a follow-up letter of support with Rep. Ryan in the coming weeks.

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