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Higgins pays tribute to fallen Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno


Wed, Mar 8th 2023 04:00 pm

Announces federal grant funding available to local fire departments

On the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Brian Higgins honored the service of City of Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno, who lost his life in the line of duty while fighting a fire in downtown Buffalo on March 1.

Higgins said, in part, “Last week, the Buffalo Fire Department lost a brother and Western New York lost a hero in the line of duty during a four-alarm fire on Main Street in the City of Buffalo. … Jason was committed to putting his life on the line each day for the community that he loved. As our city mourns this tragic loss, we are once again reminded of the bravery and sacrifice it takes as a first responder. While Jason is laid to rest this Friday, our hearts are heavy and our thoughts are with the Arno family, the Western New York community, and his brothers and sisters of Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282. The City of Good neighbors and a grateful nation are forever indebted to firefighter Jason Arno for his selfless sacrifice.” 

Higgins also announced resources available to fire departments through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The department is now accepting applications for grants through the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

SAFER Grants are intended to help professional and volunteer fire departments increase or maintain adequate staffing levels of trained, front-line firefighters This year, Congress made $360 million available for the SAFER program nationwide. The application deadline for SAFER grants is 5 p.m. Friday, March 17.

FP&S grants support projects and programs that enhance the safety of firefighters and the public, toward the goal of reducing injuries and life-threatening incidents. Congress authorized $36 million for the program nationwide. The deadline to apply for a Fire Prevention & Safety Grant is 5 p.m. Friday, March 31.

Higgins added, “The entire Western New York community and firefighter brothers and sisters everywhere are devastated by the recent loss of Buffalo firefighter Jason Arno. In Congress, we fight to deliver and protect grant funding to ensure local fire departments have adequate equipment, training and personnel necessary for a job with inherent danger. We are so grateful for the dedicated and selfless service provided by Western New York firefighters, and encourage local departments to apply.”

Further details, guidance and online workshops for both grants are available at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters. Applicants with questions regarding the grants, or in need of technical assistance, can contact the assistance to firefighters program help desk between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 1-866 274-0960 or [email protected].

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