ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Burnt Hills and South Glens Falls fire departments have received a combined $156K+ in federal funding from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The Burnt Hills Fire Department will receive $121,308.57, and the South Glens Falls Fire Company will receive $34,746.66 for new radios, equipment maintenance, and other safety and operational needs to protect firefighters.

“The South Glens Falls Fire Company is excited to receive communications that indicate we are being awarded an AFG grant for the purchase of two turnout gear washer-extractors and two turnout gear dryers,” said Arthur L. Porlier Jr., Firefighter and Grant Committee Chair at South Glens Falls Fire Company.  “According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), firefighters are currently being diagnosed with cancer at a nearly 10 percent higher rate than the general public and experiencing cancer-related deaths at a nearly 15 percent higher rate.  This equipment, along with our policies and procedures for on-scene decontamination of firefighters, will help to reduce the exposure to carcinogens our firefighters face, decreasing the likelihood of obtaining occupational cancer.”

“We at the Burnt Hills Fire District and Burnt Hills Fire Department would like to thank Congressman Tonko, our FEMA Region 2 Representative Brian Thomas, and Senator Schumer for their assistance and support for this award,” said Greg Bradtke, Chief of the Burnt Hills Fire Department.  “We also want to thank our grant writer, Julie Burline, for her guidance and assistance in obtaining this award.  This award will allow us to purchase 26 new P25 compliant radios with ancillary equipment and place one at every seat on our apparatus and also in the hands of command personnel.  Communications are crucial for emergency services operations, and this award and purchase will give us capability we presently do not enjoy.  The ability to communicate among all firefighters, EMS personnel, mutual aid companies, law enforcement, and cross-county agencies will enhance our efficiency and more importantly our safety.”