Sen. Chuck Schumer announces grant funding for Cortland Fire Department

Sen. Chuck Schumer addressing members of the media during a press conference Friday at the Cortland County Sheriff's Office. Schumer announced $190.000 in federal funding for the Cortland Fire Department and discussed the ongoing opioid crisis in central New York (Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

CORTLAND, N.Y. - On Friday, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $190,477, in federal funding for the Cortland Fire Department.

The funding was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Cortland Fire Department will use this funding to purchase new vehicles.

“It is essential that we provide our firefighters with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively,” Sen. Schumer said in a press release. “Our first responders are our local heroes and our primary line of defense for safety and security—it is critical that we do all we can to ensure that they are well equipped and prepared to take on any emergency.”

The fire department applied for the fund to replace its old rescue truck, according to Cortland Fire Chief Charles Glover.

"This award could not have come at a better time," Glover said. "We were beginning to question its reliability when it comes to responding in emergency situations. This grant will allow us to replace our antiquated truck without placing the burden on the taxpayers in the city of Cortland."

The City of Cortland FD is technically only responsible for serving the city of Cortland. But currently, they are the only fire department in the entire county of Cortland that has the capability to respond to technical rescues, water rescues, and hazmat calls.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the Department's United States Fire Administration. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program's priorities and demonstrate financial need.