Local News

Cortland Fire Looks to Apply for Grant Towards New Ladder Truck, Hose Replacement and Regional Radio Equipment


The City of Cortland Fire Department looks to replace their 1995 reserve ladder truck by applying for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant. The fire department says the current ladder truck, originally owned by the Ithaca Fire Department, is 29 years old and is well past its expected service life.

The FEMA application for a new ladder truck won’t be the only grant the fire department will be seeking. Cortland Fire will also seek FEMA grant funding to replace portable regional radio equipment that is considered imperative to operations of the department and replacement of large diameter supply hose that is 20 years old. The current radio equipment being used is 10 years old.

The grant towards the purchase of a new ladder truck will be the application, FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Vehicle Acquisition Grant. The amount to be requested is $1 million dollars; part of the federal share is $952,380.95 and a local 5% share of $47,619.05 that will be allocated from the general fund in the 2025 budget.

For the purchase of the new regional radio equipment, a successful grant award is more likely when applied as a regional grant. The Virgil Fire Department will be the fiscal agent for the FEMA grant for the regional radio grant application and a memorandum of understanding with regional partners has been made. The total grant is expected to be $889,000 with a 10% match.

The City of Cortland looks to benefit from the grant (if awarded) with 56 radios being replaced for an estimated cost of $187,000 with the 10% match being for the City of Cortland of $17,046.

The application for the hose replacement is towards replacing a large diameter supply hose. City of Cortland Fire Chief Wayne Friedman says the current hose is 20 years old and failures have occurred. The grant would be for $47,500 with a federal share of $45,125 and a local 5% share of $2,375 dollars, that amount would be observed by the fire departments operational budget.

Writing the applications for the three grants will be done by TenKate Grant Services, who submitted their proposal for grant writing in the amount of $4,500. The City of Cortland Common Council voted unanimously to approve the grant applications and TenKate to write the applications.

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