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Owens announces $45,600 for Massena Volunteer Emergency Company

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MASSENA - The Massena Volunteer Emergency Company will receive $45,600 in grant funding through the Department of Homeland Security FY 2013 Assistance to Firefighters Grants program.

Congressman William Owens announced Wednesday that $117,610 in grants awarded to local fire companies through the program. This funding will go toward operations and safety improvements at three local fire houses.

“These grants give local fire departments the resources they need to ensure the safety of their firefighters and their communities,” Mr. Owens said in a release. “Fires are an unfortunate reality and local fire departments are the first and best protection we have once a fire breaks out. This funding begins to address the critical needs of these local fire houses to ensure the safety of our first responders and the communities they protect.”

AFG grants are competitive and awarded directly to fire departments to protect public and first-responder health and safety. This round of AFG grants includes $45,600 for the Massena Volunteer Emergency Company, $23,560 for the Dickinson Fire District and $48,450 for the Johnsburg Volunteer Fire Company.

According to Brenton LaGrow, first assistant chief at the Massena Volunteer Emergency Unit, the money for the Massena facility will go toward an exhaust system to remove harmful exhaust from the fire station when vehicles are pulling out or returning.

“The safety benefits are immense for this kind of thing,” Mr. LaGrow said. “Instead of having our members breathing in these fumes, the dangerous toxins are trapped and removed. This is important for us to meet our goal of a safe workplace for the volunteers and paid staff that work here. We appreciate the help we got from everyone involved.”

He added that this upgrade will also make the building safer for members of the community who participate in instructional classes at the facility.

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. This funding is part of round 15 of the competitive FY 2013 announcements.

For more information on the grants, visit the AFG website at www.fema.gov/firegrants.

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