Congressman Pat Ryan Delivers $324,450 for Poughkeepsie

POUGHKEEPSIE – On August 16, 2023, Congressman Pat Ryan announced that the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department will receive $324,450 in federal grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program. The funds will be used to update the Department’s self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA)s. The new SCBAs will feature safety and reliability improvements that will help reduce exposure and inhalation.

“Our firefighters risk their lives every day to keep our community and families safe. We must have their backs,” said Congressman Pat Ryan. “When firefighters run into a burning building, they shouldn’t have to think twice about trusting the equipment that allows them to breathe safely. I’m proud that these funds will deliver critical support for them.”

“I want to thank Congressman Pat Ryan and our federal partners for their dedication to ensuring federal agencies are in the best position to supply these much-needed funds. This grant will provide lifesaving equipment that will help the city Fire Department’s continuing efforts to deliver the best service possible to the community and residents of the city,” said City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Marc Nelson.

“The City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department is extremely grateful for being awarded this FEMA AFG grant. Funding from this grant will be used to replace our current used and outdated Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. The new SCBA have updated safety features that will provide, safer and more efficient operations within the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department,” said Poughkeepsie Deputy Fire Chief Vincent Parise.. “The Poughkeepsie Fire Department would like to thank Congressman Pat Ryan for his continuing efforts to assure these federal funds are made available for fire departments to acquire these critical pieces of equipment.”

The AFG award announcement expands upon Congressman Ryan’s record of delivering federal funds for Hudson Valley fire departments and providing support for emergency responders. Earlier this year, Ryan joined his colleagues in urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to provide at least $405 million for the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program and $405 million for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program for Fiscal Year 2024.

In addition, Ryan nominated the Rifton Fire District and the Tivoli Fire Department for Community Funded Projects for Fiscal Year 2023 so that both fire departments can expand to fit the growing need of the communities surrounding the fire departments.

Congressman Ryan serves on the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. Earlier this year, Ryan partnered with Hudson Valley fire departments to announce his “Fighting for Our Firefighters” legislative plan in May. The plan would support families of fallen firefighters, screen for occupation-related cancers, and protect firefighters’ Social Security and pensions. Ryan cosponsors the following legislation:

* Honoring Our Fallen Heroes Act, a bill that recognizes the job-related roots of cancer for first responders by providing death benefits for occupational cancer under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program. While medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes, and COVID-19 are presumed to be line-of-duty deaths for the purposes of the PSOB program, occupational cancer is not.

* Federal Firefighter Cancer Detection & Prevention Act, a bill to prevent and detect certain cancers by directing the Department of Defense to include cancer testing as a component of the civil service firefighter’s annual medical exam.

* Federal Firefighters Pay Equity Act, a bill that fixes a loophole where federal firefighters receive only partial retirement credit for their work, effectively denying them the pension credit they have earned.

* Social Security Fairness Act, a bill that would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and ensure retired firefighters can receive their full Social Security.

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