New York State Senator James Skoufis joined local officials and first responders at Monroe Joint Fire District’s Harriman station yesterday to announce grants totaling more than $1.3 million to support fire departments and EMS agencies throughout Orange County. The funding will enable a variety of equipment purchases such as new turnout gear, defibrillators, and ambulances, as well as building upgrades for several grantees.
EMTs from New Windsor and Cornwall were among many first responders in attendance at yesterday’s announcement.
Responding to feedback voiced by these public safety professionals in regular meetings with the Senator and his team, Skoufis is awarding grants to a dozen agencies across his senate district to bolster public safety and ensure much-needed resources for our volunteer first responders. A comprehensive state investment in public safety of this kind has never been made in Orange County.
“The refrain I hear time and time again from our local firefighters and EMTs is that increasing demand for service is putting a strain on aging equipment and facilities,” said Skoufis. “Yet, these agencies – nearly all volunteer – don’t have the bandwidth or financial resources to improve their operations overnight. I think most families would agree that’s unacceptable, especially when a loved one’s life is on the line.”
“I’m honored to be able to bring local tax dollars back to our communities, where they belong, and to ensure our first responders are in the best possible position to serve our Orange County neighbors,” Skoufis added.
“We all know how tough it is to do this job,” noted Monroe Joint Fire District Chief and Orange County EMS-16 District Coordinator Rich Lenahan. “The guys behind me – we all volunteer and we don’t ask for a paycheck. But this grant money is actually a thank you for all we do. We appreciate what you’re doing here, Senator Skoufis.”
“The Greenwood Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps would like to take this opportunity to thank Senator Skoufis and his staff for all the assistance given us in securing the opportunity to receive grant funding to replace a twenty year old ambulance,” said Eileen Diffley, President of the Greenwood Lake Ambulance. “Your help is appreciated by both our members and our community. Thank you!”
“A few short weeks ago, a five alarm fire changed the lives of two families in Woodbury,” added Village of Woodbury Mayor Andrew Giacomazza, representing members of the Woodbury Fire Department. “If not for the volunteers throughout Orange County who responded, it could have been far worse. On behalf of the residents of Woodbury, we thank our State Senator, James Skoufis, for providing this much needed funding.”
“The grant from Senator Skoufis will be used toward the purchase of a pumper tanker for our Warwick Fire District Station #4,” noted George Schick, Warwick Board of Fire Commissioners. “Station #4 will become a working fire house with an apparatus that will be part of our initial response plan. This grant will enable us to make this purchase sooner than planned and will reduce the cost to our taxpayers.”