WASHINGTON, D.C. - Our local fire departments do much more than battle fires. They respond to other emergencies like train accidents, car crashes and more. To keep our firefighters prepared for every scenario, a couple of local departments are getting federal dollars to do that.  

“Since we’re out in more rural America we do all facets of the job,” said Hornell FD Chief Frank Brzozowski. “We don’t just do fire, we do EMS , we do rescue. We're counted on for a lot of services.” 

Brzozowski said each year they sit down and analyze what their department’s needs are.  

“Things age, they get old,” said Brzozowski. “We want our people to have the best and safest equipment to do the job and quite frankly to keep our public safe.” 

The chief said some of the current equipment they’re using is a little outdated and can limit their movements.  

“If there was something on top of them or an item that we can’t get them out, we could never get our spreader tools or jaws into there because of our umbilical cords that were attached to the truck,” said Brzozowski. 

But that's all about to change. New York’s Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D- NY) and Chuck Schumer (D- NY) recently announced over 1.2 million dollars in federal funding is headed to a handful of New York fire departments. About 110 thousand dollars from that is going to Hornell. The money is from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program. The program helps departments get protective gear, training and supplies.  

“This year the grant we went after was for rescue tools,” said Brzozowski. “It’s a set of spreaders what we call cutters, jaws of life, ram tools for lifting and raising.”  

The chief said the new equipment will help with their response of keeping people safe.  

“Now with the new tools they’re all portable,” said Brzozowski. “We can take them right inside, right where the incident is get them out quick and get them back outside. It keeps our firemen safe, it keeps our public safe and the delay in time is a lot less.”