ULSTER COUNTY, NY – Senator Michelle Hinchey today announced that she has secured $125,000 in state grant funding to help the Esopus and Glasco Fire Departments purchase new rescue equipment. The Esopus Fire Department has put the $50,000 grant toward a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) to help members fight fires and conduct rescues in areas inaccessible to firetrucks, including across nearly 2,500 acres of trails and wooded areas within the fire district, such as Shaupeneak Ridge Park, Esopus Meadows Preserve, Black Creek Preserve, and John Burroughs Sanctuary. The Glasco Fire Department has put the $75,000 grant toward new turnout gear to equip 10 local firefighters with personal protective equipment as well as portable radios and pagers to help coordinate emergency response operations.
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “We are all safer and better served when our firefighters are equipped with the best tools available, and I’m proud to deliver two state grants totaling $125,000 to help our firefighters at the Esopus and Glasco Departments make needed upgrades to their turnout gear, rescue vehicles, and emergency communications tools. I will always fight for the resources our Hudson Valley fire departments need to stay safe and respond quickly and effectively to emergencies.”
Glasco Fire Department 1st Assistant Chief Ray Mayone Jr. said, “The Glasco Fire District and its members would like to thank Senator Hinchey for her hard work in securing this funding for our district. With the rising cost of equipment, small districts such as ours struggle to stay ahead. This funding will allow us to fully outfit 10 firefighters from head to toe with personal protective equipment, a portable radio, and a pager. This will significantly enhance the safety of our members by ensuring that all firefighters are equipped with the latest personal protective equipment and that portable radios are provided to all interior firefighters. Again, thank you, Senator Hinchey, for your continued commitment to our area and to all first responders.”
Esopus Fire Chief Will Freer said, “On behalf of the members of the Fire Department, I would like to thank Senator Hinchey not only for helping us fund this project but also for her presence and support. This funding from Senator Hinchey has allowed us to purchase a 2023 Can-Am Defender Pro UTV that will help us protect the nearly 2500+ acres of parks and recreational land, including 14 miles of trails in our Fire District. The new unit was used three times within a week of receiving it, including a standby for a cross-country race and a search detail.”
The awarded grant funding was secured through the State and Municipal Facilities Capital (SAM) grant program administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development.
Senator Hinchey is responsible for securing $25 million in the FY’24 State Budget to create the first-ever Volunteer Fire Services Capital Fund – a resource to help New York’s volunteer departments pay for needed equipment and building upgrades, which will launch later this fall. Hinchey also championed $750,000 in the FY’24 budget to support the New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association, which will aid professional fire departments, including the City of Kingston Fire Department.