Medina Fire Department will seek federal grant for staffing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 January 2017 at 1:26 pm
Tom Lupo

Tom Lupo

MEDINA – The village is going to apply for a federal grant to cover the salaries of four additional firefighters.

The Village Board on Monday gave Fire Chief Tom Lupo authorization to apply for a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.

The village has been seeking the grants in recent years, but has been denied funding for additional staff. Medina has typically sought funds for two positions.

Lupo joined the Medina Fire Department in March. He is the chief of a department with 14 full-time firefighters. Lupo joined Medina after working for the Lockport Fire Department, where Lupo said that department received a SAFER grant two years ago for two positions and then another grant last year for four positions.

Lupo will be writing the grant for Medina.

He said the additional staff would ease overtime costs for the department. Medina is the primary ambulance provider for western Orleans (Shelby, Ridgeway, Yates, Medina and Lyndonville) but is seeing more mutual aid calls outside that area. Lupo said Medina was called to Royalton 87 times last year. He is notifying Royalton officials that Medina won’t be available to respond to that volume of calls in 2017.

Royalton has struggled to find enough personnel with the proper training to respond to ambulance calls, Lupo told the Village Board on Monday. Royalton will need to find another solution besides calling Medina because it is pushing up the department’s overtime costs, village officials said.

Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) today announced the application period SAFER grants. The program is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The program aims to increase the the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities, Collins said.

“The SAFER Grant Program delivers funding assistance to our local fire departments and EMS providers that helps recruit new members and ensure that current members are properly trained,” Collins said. “I look forward to working with this year’s applicants and I encourage all NY-27 fire departments and EMS providers to apply.”

FEMA began accepting applications from eligible departments on Monday (Jan. 9) and will accept applications until Feb. 10 at 5 p.m.

Interested applicants with further questions or those seeking letters of support from Congressman Collins are asked to call his Geneseo District Office at (585) 519-4002.

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