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Higgins & Brown: $95,000-plus in federal funding for City of Buffalo Fire Department


Mon, Aug 30th 2021 10:35 am

Grant to reduce exposure to contaminated gear

Congressman Brian Higgins and City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced the Buffalo Fire Department was awarded a federal fire grant totaling $95,454.

A press release stated, “Studies show firefighters have a higher risk of cancer due to job-related exposure to carcinogens. The grant will support the Buffalo Fire Department’s implementation of the ‘clean cab’ concept, allowing frontline firefighters to replace contaminated gear with clean gear before reentering the fire truck cab.”

Higgins said, “The risk Buffalo Firefighters assume each and every day are obvious, but we are also learning more about the long-term risks associated with the occupation. This grant backs efforts for a smarter approach to protecting the health and safety of firefighters who stand ready to protect the health and safety of residents throughout the City of Buffalo.”

Brown stated, “The job of a firefighter is never easy, and comes with great risks including statistics that show that firefighters are more likely to contract cancer due to the nature of their occupation. This $95,000 federal grant represents another step in our efforts to roll out the ‘clean cab’ project, designed to improve the health and safety outcomes for our frontline firefighting personnel. With the purchase of these new jackets, we will work to ensure that Buffalo firefighters are better protected against frequent exposure to toxic, airborne cancer-causing agents. I thank Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, his leadership and grant teams, as well as Congressman Brian Higgins, for putting together a successful application and securing the funding to further improve the health and safety of our firefighters and our community.” 

The funding is awarded through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant. Congress authorized $319.5 million for the AFG program this year to support and strengthen the ability to respond to fires and other emergencies.

This brings the total federal funding awarded to the City of Buffalo Fire Department over the past three years to nearly $835,000. A $322,000 federal grant in 2019 funded water rescue equipment, the automated external defibrillator (AED) program, EMS and CPR certifications, and various training programs. In 2020, BFD received more than $417,000 in supplemental AFG program funding provided through the CARES Act for personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep firefighters and the community safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

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