Fire Company receives $161,000 grant for equipment

BROADALBIN — Broadalbin-Kenneyetto Fire Company has received a $161,000 Federal Emergency Managements Administration Assistance to Firefighters Grant for emergency respiratory equipment.

The award consists of 26 self-contained breathing apparatus units, which includes harness/backpack, face piece and 52 compressed air cylinders that will protect firefighters as they encounter smoke and fumes.

The grant will update the company’s current equipment, which has suffered from wear and tear, said Julie Benzo of Benzo Consulting, Utica, who wrote the grant proposal along with fire company treasurer Robert Zurlo.

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations, Benzo said.

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

“It is difficult to compare health and safety of firefighters and the public which they serve, to any amount of money,” Benzo said. She added that cancer from exposure to toxic substances is more common among firefighters than the public.

“A single injury or fatality caused by outdated, non-compliant SCBAs is unacceptable in terms of its emotional and financial cost,” she said, noting that $161,000 is a big cost for a small fire company.

“Approval of this application has corrected all deficiencies the fire company has been possibly facing with non-compliant, obsolete SCBAs and will allow personnel to operate safely, efficiently and effectively to protect the citizens of Fulton County, Broadalbin, Mayfield, visitors to the Great Sacandaga Lake and Adirondack region,” Benzo said.

“We are very grateful to Congresswoman Stefanik. Her staff worked tirelessly to assist in this award,” said Benzo.

Benzo said the fire company will choose equipment from the various manufacturers, and she expects they will “take delivery in about six months.”