New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced federal funding totaling $421,920 dollars to the City of Cortland for recruitment and training of firefighters.
Funding came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program.
“We appreciate Senator Schumer’s support and advocacy in securing this funding, as well as his work on the Assistance to Firefighters and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response programs. These programs have had a tremendous impact locally by allowing the Cortland Fire Department to increase critical fire protection services in our community. The funding secured here today will increase safety for firefighters and residents by putting more firefighters on first arriving equipment,” said City of Cortland Chief of Fire Wayne Friedman.
The funding will go towards the city restarting their “Bunk in” program, which allows for college students to bunk at the fire station for two nights a week in return for a stipend of their housing costs.
“The Cortland Fire Department’s most valuable resource is its firefighters, and the bunk-in program was the start for one of the Department’s current leaders. Our Battalion Chief came to the Fire Department as part of the bunk-in program which is evidence of the program’s value as well as value for our community,” said Mayor of Cortland Scott Steve.
This grant will also fund social media training, marketing training, and website redesign to help better recruit volunteer firefighters, as well as improvements to program coordination and management.