Seven Southern Tier fire departments to receive funding from FEMA

City of Norwich Fire Department will receive the most funds.
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 12:06 AM EDT
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CITY OF NORWICH (WBNG) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced over $6 million in federal funding from FEMA going to firefighters throughout Upstate New York.

One of the seven Southern Tier fire departments on the receiving end for the annual Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) is the City of Norwich. When it comes to the city’s fire department, it tops the list with just under $151,000.

“It was a good Friday afternoon phone call,” said Chief Jan Papelino with the City of Norwich Fire Department.

Less than a week ago, the chief received the news the department had a successful grant bid. “This AFG Grant Program is something that came out of 9/11,” he said. “This isn’t something just for us. This AFG Grant can be applied for any fire department, emergency services, ambulance corps.”

Chief Papelino said the grants are scored by other firefighters. Then once the department physically receives the money, the chief has a plan, which was laid out in the department’s grant application. “Improve our EMS capability. So we’re trying to take some of basic EMTs that we have on staff now and get them so they’re paramedics,” he said. “The other funding is for turnout gear for the staff here, staff and volunteers here, so we can buy them some new PPE.”

With the announcement made last week, it’s still in the beginning stages. “We really haven’t had any of the paperwork come through yet,” said the chief.

For more on the other local fire departments involved, head to our previous web story regarding the grant.