February 16, 2023
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the City of Jamestown was awarded a Fiscal Year 2021 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program grant totaling $1,816,201. These grant funds will go towards the hiring of eight (8) new firefighters in the Jamestown Fire Department (JFD). The funds will fully cover the cost of the new hires for three years, with no cost share from the City. Jamestown was one of three New York state departments awarded SAFER grants in this round of funding, which also included Fulton and New Rochelle. Jamestown was also awarded an Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant (AFG) last week, which totaled over $284,000 for new radios and rope bailout system.
“Firefighters from Jamestown to Fulton to New Rochelle have worked non-stop battling on the frontlines of the pandemic and keeping our communities safe, and when I heard our fire departments were struggling to keep staffing up I promised to deliver the fed dollars to give our heroes the support they need. That is why I am proud to deliver this major over $4.5 million federal boost so our Upstate and Hudson Valley fire departments can hire new desperately-needed firefighters without bearing the financial stress,” said Senator Schumer. “I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our brave firefighters, and this will keep our New York fire departments prepared to take on any emergency.”
“Firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We owe it to them to ensure that they have the resources and personnel they need to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible. Today, I’m proud to be delivering over $4.5 million in federal funding to battle ongoing staffing shortages in fire departments across New York and I will keep fighting to get more federal resources to our first responders.”
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said, “One of my top priorities as Mayor has been to enhance staffing and equipment in our public safety departments. The SAFER and AFG grant awards will add 8 new firefighters to the Jamestown Fire Department, as well as the addition of new equipment to enhance firefighter safety. These awards will help improve responsiveness, increase fire protection, and increase EMS coverage for all Jamestown residents and businesses. I would like to thank my friend Senator Schumer, who has been a tireless advocate for increased public safety resources in communities like Jamestown, for his support which made this award possible. Every day, I am humbled by the heroic work of our public safety departments, and I am proud to have secured over $2 million for our firefighters to keep Jamestown safe.”
Jamestown Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Coon said, ” I thank FEMA for awarding the Jamestown Fire Department both the SAFER and AFG grants to make transformative investments into our department. Over the years, we have seen a huge increase in calls and EMS transports, with a long-term trend of declining staff. The new firefighters we will be able to hire under the SAFER grant will allow us to have adequate personnel on shift to deal with structure fires and EMS calls with improved response times. AFG awards enable fire departments like ours to make critical investments into our members’ firefighting equipment, which will enable us to safely perform our jobs. These two awards are to fulfil our mission to protect the lives and property of Jamestown’s residents.”
Jamestown Director of Public Safety and Police Chief Timothy Jackson said, “These awards will ensure JFD is adequately staffed to deal with rising call volume and improve service to Jamestown residents and businesses. The safety of our public safety officers and residents are always my top priority, and the AFG and SAFER grant awards will enhance both. The investments made due to these awards will make a noticeable positive impact on the safety of Jamestown.”
Jamestown Professional Firefighters Association (JPFFA) Local 137 President Ben McLaughlin said, “The protection of our members and the public are our highest priority. The Jamestown Fire Department has taken a large step towards the industry standard for staffing with the award of the SAFER Grant, and we will get the equipment necessary to do our jobs safely through the award of the AFG Grant. Jamestown is now a better protected place to live, and the brave men and women of the Fire Department are better equipped to handle the emergency response needs of this community.”