State And County Work Together For Firefighter Assistance

John J. Bonacic

April 17, 2005

This is the second time the State and County have undertaken such an initiative, the first being in 2002, when the State and County collaborated to provide funding for thermal imaging cameras to the same Departments.

The $180,000 in funding will go to purchase equipment such as turnout gear, SCBA, defibrillators, and jaws of life. The Funding for the initiative was secured by Senator Bonacic and will be administered through the County.

“Our firefighters leave their jobs and their family to save the lives and property of others. They perform heroic services, often for no pay, and deserve our support and thanks,” stated Orange County Legislator Melissa Bonacic (R/C – Greenville). Legislator Bonacic will sponsor the resolution to allow the County to coordinate this initiative with the State.

County Executive Edward Diana said, “This is the second time the County has partnered with Senator Bonacic to deliver funds needed by our fire departments. By working with the Senator, we will be able to quickly purchase equipment for the Departments, and put it into use.”

Fire Departments in Middletown, Port Jervis, Deerpark, Greenville, Mount Hope, Wawayanda, and Minisink will be eligible to share in the funding. Those Departments include: Cuddebackville, Greenville, Howells, Huguenot, Middletown, New Hampton, Otisville, Port Jervis, Slate Hill, Sparrowbush, and Unionville. Departments will be asked to submit equipment requests to the County. The County will then purchase the equipment and be reimbursed through State funding.

This initiative is similar to one Senator Bonacic undertook with Sullivan County two weeks ago and in the past with Ulster and Delaware Counties. In 2002, Senator Bonacic also secured funding for all Orange County Departments in his Senate District to purchase thermal imaging cameras.

“Since September 11th, elected officials have spoken about the life-saving work of our firefighters. Words of support are nice, but government at levels must do more to support the work our firefighters do. I will continue to work in partnership with our local governments to provide as much support as possible for our fire departments,” Senator Bonacic concluded.