Harckham Inspects New Command Vehicle at Somers Fire Department

Sen. Harckham with (l-r) Commissioner FitzGerald, firefighter Rocco Latella and Chief Mackey

Somers, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham stopped by the Lincolndale headquarters of the Somers Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) recently to inspect the new command vehicle recently placed into service. The vehicle, a 2021 Chevy Tahoe, was purchased with the help of a $50,000 state grant that Harckham had secured for the department.

“As our municipalities grow, so do the needs of our first responders who are charged with safeguarding our residents and businesses,” said Harckham. “The Somers Fire Department is one of the busiest in northern Westchester, and so I was pleased to be able to help them attain state funding for the new command vehicle, which will ease the burden on the local taxpayers as well.”

The SVFD, which provides fire protection and emergency medical care to more than 20,000 residents in a 33-square-mile fire district, keeps several command vehicles on the road at all times to help reduce response time during emergencies. Although the funding for the new vehicle was approved in 2020, it took over a year-and-a-half for Somers to receive their specially ordered command vehicle because of delays associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, the SVFD responded to more 3,000 calls, according to Chief Jonathan Mackey. More than 90 active members staff the department, which has the third largest response district in Westchester County.

“The Town of Somers deserves the best resources and equipment available for its fire department to fulfill its mission,” said Mackey. “The new command vehicle is fitted with state-of-the-art technology and communications, which will help us protect our residents and local businesses.”

“We appreciate Senator Harckham’s assistance in obtaining this grant for the department,” John FitzGerald, commissioner of the Somers Fire District. “This command vehicle will be an essential resource in helping to protect our community.”

The awarded grant funding was secured within the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM), which is among the grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development. Harckham has secured more than $700,000 of state grant funding for firefighters in the 40th Senate District since 2019.