SEA CLIFF VILLAGE RECEIVES $200,000 FEMA GRANT FOR FIREFIGHTER SCOTT PAKS
At a ceremony in front of the Sea Cliff Firehouse this past Friday morning, Congressman Steve Israel joined members of the Fire Department and local government officials to unveil 25 new life-saving breathing apparatuses known commonly as Scott Paks that were awarded to the Village through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The Congressman helped secure the $196,667 grant to purchase the devices which will help increase the effectiveness and safety of firefighters and first responders, allowing them to enter heavy smoke conditions. Sea Cliff is only one of two Long Island municipalities to have received the award.
“When firefighters are saving lives, we have try to make sure their lives are safe,” said Congressman Israel, “This will make Sea Cliff firefighters safer and it is the best expenditure of federal resources I can think of.” Only a small handful of the 435 Congressional districts across the country received such grants, he added.
“When the alarm goes off we expect our first responders to go racing into fires putting themselves at risk, said Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy, “and we as elected officials owe it to them to give them every piece of equipment we can to keep them safe.”
“We’re very grateful for the support of Congressman Israel for assisting us in getting this FEMA grant and the letter of support from State Senator Carl Marcellino with his letter of support,” the Mayor continued. If the Scott Paks were a regular village tax-supported expenditure, he noted, it would have amounted to about 4% of this year's budget.
Senator Marcellino spoke in a similar vein. “When everyone else is running out of fires, they’re running into fires putting themselves in harm’s way,” he said. “It’s our job as elected officials to protect them when they do that. . . . It makes our communities safer and a better places to live and raise families.”
Legislator Delia DeRiggi Whitton said that although the grant was specifically for the Sea Cliff Fire Department, neighboring villages and towns would benefit as well. “All of our fire departments work collaboratively,” she remarked as she thanked the Congressman and the other officials for their efforts. “And so, not only are you helping this area but also surrounding communities.”
Sea Cliff Fire Chief Ernie Longobucco also offered his thanks to those officials who had spoken as well as to Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Sea Cliff Village Trustee Elena Villafane, who serves as Liaison to the Fire Department, the Village Board as a whole, and Erin McDonnell, the Village Grant Writer, who put together the Village’s grant application.
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Pictured to the left from left to right are Grant Writer Erin McDonnell, Second Assistant Chief Michael Hallquest, Village Trustee Elena Villafane, Fire Chief Ernest Longobucco, Jr., First Assistant Chief Mark Vitale, Mayor Bruce Kennedy, Congressman Steve Israel (D – Huntington), State Senator Carl Marcellino, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, and Village Trustee Edward Lieberman.
Second Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hallquest Demonstrates the Scott Pak