Syracuse (NY) Fire Department Receives Largest FEMA Grant in Agency History

Syracuse NY Fire Department

Source: City of Syracuse

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Fire Chief Michael Monds announced that the Syracuse (NY) Fire Department has been awarded two major FEMA grants totaling $3.3 million.

The first award, from FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, will provide over $3.2 million to hire 12 new firefighters. The funds will cover 100 percent of the salary and benefits of the newly hired firefighters for three years. This is the largest FEMA grant that the Syracuse Fire Department has ever received.

The second award, from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, will provide $74,000 towards the purchase of new thermal imaging cameras. These devices allow firefighters to see through darkness or smoke so they can locate and rescue victims quickly. The fire department has been unable to afford enough thermal imaging cameras to properly equip all of our engine companies. Because of this grant award, every neighborhood fire station will soon have at least one of these life-saving devices.

“This funding will help keep our firefighters and our community safer. Proper staffing and the right equipment save lives. They make sure we can respond more quickly and use the right approaches in dealing with an emergency,” said Chief Monds. “I thank our federal partners for their support and want to recognize Deputy Chief John Kane and Janet Burke and her team in the Research and Grants Bureau. Their thorough and meticulous effort on the applications ensured we received this historic support.”

“The City of Syracuse is served by a brave and highly effective Fire Department. We need to do everything we can to ensure that our firefighters have the resources they need to protect our community and keep each other safe,” said Mayor Walsh. “I commend Chief Monds and the department leadership for making a compelling case with FEMA for this funding, and I thank our federal delegation for helping to ensure our residents have the fire and emergency response services they need.”

The Syracuse Fire Department is grateful for the support received from our federal partners.  Congressman John Katko, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand all enthusiastically supported our application for these funds.  Without question, these grant awards will help ensure that the citizens of Syracuse continue to receive some of the best fire and emergency services in the United States.

“I’m pleased to join Mayor Ben Walsh and Chief Michael Monds in announcing the City of Syracuse will receive over $3 million in federal funding from FEMA to hire additional firefighters and promote firefighter safety,” said Rep. Katko. “Firefighters in the City of Syracuse are often put in extremely dangerous situations and I was glad to support this grant application by the City of Syracuse.  As Ranking Member on the House Committee on Homeland Security, a Committee that oversees FEMA, I’m proud to help secure funds to increase department staffing levels and ensure Syracuse firefighters are better protected in the line of duty.”

“Our brave Syracuse firefighters worked around the clock during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to risk their lives to protect our communities,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will allow the Syracuse Fire Department to recruit and hire more firefighters – which will help it ensure a speedy and effective response to any emergency – without burdening local taxpayers.”

“I am proud to deliver $3.2 million to the Syracuse Fire Department to ensure that they can continue to hire desperately needed firefighters.” said Senator Gillibrand. “Firefighters across New York State have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect our communities, and I will continue fighting for funding to ensure that our Upstate fire departments have what they need to remain adequately staffed, respond quickly to emergencies, and stay safe on the front lines.”

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