Shawangunk, NY…Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) held a press conference today with first-responders in the Village of Wallkill, in Shawangunk, to announce $50,000 grants to the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Wallkill Fire District through the State and Municipal Facilities Capital (SAM) program. Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and Ulster County Minority Leader Ken Ronk both attended and spoke at the press conference, along with local EMS and Fire District leaders.
A $50,000 grant for the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. will help pay for an emergency response vehicle, and a second $50,000 in funding will enable the Wallkill Fire District to purchase a generator for their new firehouse, currently under construction.
“Our volunteer EMS are an essential component of our healthcare system in rural communities, administering emergency care that often helps avoid trips to the hospital altogether," said Senator Metzger. "Chief Foster and the members of the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps play a vital role in protecting health and safety, responding to some 300 calls a year, and this $50,000 grant will help them afford the equipment they need during this pandemic and beyond."
"I was also so pleased to announce a $50,0000 grant for back-up electricity generation for the Wallkill Fire District's new firehouse, which is more important than ever in the age of climate change, as we see an increase in power outages due to more frequent and more severe storms," said Senator Metzger. "This is an important resilience project that will not only support the work of first-responders but will also enable the firehouse to become an emergency shelter when needed."
“Our local emergency management departments have been at the front lines of our response to the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you to Senator Jen Metzger for securing this critical funding for the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Wallkill Fire Department to ensure these heroic public servants, who are protecting our community 24/7 and delivering life-saving services, have the highest quality resources and support they deserve,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said.
Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. Chairman of the Board and Treasurer, Douglas Foster, Jr. said, "Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. is constantly attempting to improve the care we provide and the method of providing care to those in our community. We greatly appreciate Senator Metzger's dedication to EMS, her ongoing efforts, and her securing this grant to enable us to purchase a new rescue vehicle. Wallkill Ambulance members are most appreciative of that, and the legislation that she supports that is in committee to recognize EMS as an essential service in New York State. Senator Metzger has proven time and again that she is aware of the needs of the EMS providers and supports EMS in New York State."
Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. Chief Doug R. Foster said, "I cannot express how important the support of Senator Metzger is for EMS, and the SAM grant that she secured will allow Wallkill Ambulance to better serve the community with a new emergency response vehicle. Her continued support will allow us to continue to provide quality pre-hospital care to the community for years to come."
"Volunteer Fire and EMS services provide essential services free of charge to our residents upstate, and risk their lives on a daily basis to protect life and property,” said Minority Leader Ken Ronk (RCI, Wallkill). "As a volunteer with both organizations myself, I know these SAM grants will help the Wallkill Ambulance Corps and Wallkill Fire Department continue to provide these vital services to our residents, and I thank Senator Metzger for delivering this much needed funding."
Wallkill Fire District Commissioner Anne K. Barnhart said, "The generator that we are fortunately able to purchase from Senator Metzger’s grant will provide emergency power to the building in the event of community power outages, and / or natural disasters. This also will allow the fire house to serve as an emergency shelter for the residents of our community. We are appreciative of Senator Metzger’s efforts to help us secure this grant.”
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.