Federal grant to support protective gear for firefighters
Congressman Brian Higgins announced a federal fire grant totaling $18,572 for the Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Co. The award is provided through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.
"Our volunteer firefighters provide a selfless service to this community," said Higgins, a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. "This award supports Ellicott Creek firefighters with equipment that protects their safety as they work around the clock to protect the safety of others."
Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Joe Osika said, "This grant will provide our firefighters with NFPA-compliant helmets that are much-needed to replace helmets that are either out of compliance or very close to it. The AFG grant process is very competitive, and we have been applying every year since its inception, and we will continue to apply on a yearly basis. This will also allow us to continue to provide new equipment as needed on a regular basis"
Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Co. last received a direct federal fire grant in 2003 for a firefighter accountability system, still in use today, which helps to track firefighters at the scene of a fire.
The AFG program will award $340 million in grants to fire departments nationwide this year to improve the health and safety of the public and first responders. Awards are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. All applications are submitted to DHS and go through a nonpartisan, merit-based review ranked by factors established by a panel of service professionals.
Ellicott Creek Volunteer Fire Co. was founded in the mid 1940s to meet the needs of the growing population in Amherst. Today, the department's more than 60 active volunteers directly serve portions of Amherst and Tonawanda and provide mutual aid to the surrounding community. In addition to providing fire response, Ellicott Creek Fire Co. volunteers are trained to provide emergency medical services and several serve in an honor guard to pay tribute to the fallen. Ellicott Creek Fire Co. is growing with construction currently underway on a new fire department substation at 3000 Sweet Home Road. For more information on the department or to volunteer, visit http://www.ecvfd.org/.