Schwartz Highlights Over $60K for Fort Washington Firefighters; Funding Critical Safety Equipment for First Responders

Nov 26, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (PA-13) today joined firefighters from Fort Washington Fire Company No. 1 and Upper Dublin Township officials to highlight a $67,020 federal grant that enabled the fire company to purchase critically-needed protective gear.

In April, the Fort Washington Fire Company received the grant through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant enabled the fire company to purchase 27 complete sets of turnout gear for firefighters, including helmets, coats, pants, gloves, hoods and goggles. In addition to replacing decade-old gear, the grant saved money for local taxpayers.

“This important investment will enable the heroes of the Fort Washington Fire Company to focus on their life-saving work knowing their equipment is reliable and up-to-date,” Schwartz said. “We have a duty to ensure our first responders have the tools and resources they need to save lives and respond as safely and effectively as possible.”

Fort Washington Fire Chief Eric Clauson said, “Next to fire apparatus, turnout gear is one of the most expensive items in any fire company's budget. Due to an aging inventory, the Fire Company had budgeted a large sum of money in 2013 to purchase new sets of turnout gear. With our grant award, we were able to offset this budget request and save local taxpayers thousands of dollars. This grant will also have a trickle-down effect on our 2014 budget. The members of the Fort Washington Fire Company are grateful for Representative Schwartz's support of our first responders and the community.”

New turnout gear (left to right): Fort Washington Firefighter Patrick Echevarria, Chief Eric Clauson and Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz.
Photos: Karen Gurmankin

As part of her continued efforts to support Pennsylvania's first responders, Schwartz has worked to increase funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and serves as a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. Since 2001, Assistance to Firefighters Grants have provided more than $6 billion in assistance to first-responder organizations to obtain emergency response equipment, protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.

Assistance to Firefighters Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program's priorities and demonstrate financial need. Click here for more information about the program.