Firefighters get funds for new equipment

SPECULATOR – U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced $40,128 in federal funding for the village Volunteer Fire Department.

The money was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The funds will be used to purchase new personal protective equipment. The equipment is designed to protect firefighters from serious injuries resulting from contact with chemical, physical or electrical hazards during fires. This equipment includes respirators, gloves, blankets, gas masks, as well as turnout gear. Turnout gear, also called bunker gear, consists of a coat, pants, boots, helmets and a hood for interior firefighting.

Much of the Speculator Fire Department’s equipment has reached the end of its reliable life, making its need for new protective equipment especially acute, a news release said.

“We have such a dedicated fire group here. They work very hard to raise funding through alternative means such as grants and fundraisers, which really helps ease the burden on village tax payers,” Mayor Letty Rudes said in the release. “We are absolutely thrilled this is money we will be saving in our budget.”