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Fire departments to receive federal funds for equipment

Fire departments across New York have received nearly $11.5 million in federal grant funding, including three on the East End. 

The grant funds, issued through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, are meant to help fund equipment and other resources for fire departments across the country. Wading River received the most of the three, with two grants totaling nearly $200,000. Orient Fire Department took home $59,523 and Flanders received $48,428. 

Wading River plans to put $133,333 toward replacing a brush fire truck in the department, something Chief Branden Heller said was a “priority.” The other $66,666 will go toward replacing portable monitors in first responder units. 

Assistant Chief Denise Gluck said the current monitors, which cost thousands of dollars each, are nearing the end of their life span. The department would have had to budget to replace them. 

“We credit the fire district for taking a lot of initiative,” Mr. Heller said.

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the funding Sept. 1.

In a statement, Mr. 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.”

Ms. Gillibrand added: “New York’s firefighters have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID pandemic to protect our communities. This funding will provide them with the equipment, training, and resources they need to stay safe as they respond to emergency situations.”

Members of the Orient Fire Department could not immediately be reached for comment.