Harckham Secures State Grants for Thornwood Fire Department and Other First Responders

State Sen. Pete Harckham and Westchester Legislator Margaret Cunzio

Peekskill, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced today that he has secured more than $1 million in state funding for firefighters and first responders in the 40th Senate District since 2019 to make critical vehicle and equipment acquisitions that will help ensure the safety of area residents. A recent State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) grant to the Thornwood Fire Departments totaling $77,000 put the grant funding over the milestone mark.

“The best way to support our firefighters and first responders is to provide them with the resources, new technology and safeguards that allow them to carry out their high-level of service,” said Harckham. “I am pleased that state grants are available for this support. Our communities will benefit from these investments, and I thank Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for endorsing these departments’ grant requests.”

The Thornwood Fire Department, staffed entirely by volunteers, is receiving a $77,000 state grant for the purchase of an air compressor fill and workstation to replenish the air cylinders for the self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) used by the firefighters.

“An air compressor fill station will allow us to fill the air cylinders for the self-contained breathing apparatuses much faster—and in-house, instead of having to bring them to an outside vendor or another fire department to do the job,” said Ryan Rodgers, 1st assistant chief of the Thornwood Fire Department. “We are using the breathing apparatuses on a routine basis, so having them refilled gets them back in service faster for our mobile units. The fact that a state grant will cover the cost of the fill station is great news for this department and local taxpayers as well.”

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. 

Some of the grant awards have funded new powerload stretchers for EMTs in Mahopac, a fireboat for Croton-on-Hudson, a command vehicle for the Somers Fire Department and two-way radios for the Vista Fire District.

“I have worked on a number of projects and grants that have helped many of our first responders in the district, and Senator Harckham has been instrumental in facilitating these grants,” said Westchester County Legislator Margaret Cunzio. “As a current volunteer firefighter and first responder, I am seeing first-hand how these grants positively and directly impact departments like Thornwood Fire Department, and ultimately constituents and neighbors whom we serve. I want to extend my sincere appreciation for Senator Harckham’s support as well as from brothers and sisters in emergency services.”