Fire Academy in Montour Falls receives $474K to replace breathing air packs

Local News

MONTOUR FALLS, N.Y. (WETM) – The State’s Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls has received $474,782 in federal funding to replace more than 70 breathing air packs used by instructors from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services,

As required by this award, OFPC will provide a 15 percent match of more than $71,000 to complete the purchase of the air packs. This marks the seventh consecutive year the State Fire Academy was awarded funding through FEMA’s competitive nationwide Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

“New York State’s firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe and it’s our responsibility to help ensure they have the training and resources they need to do their jobs,” said New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy. “New York already has one of the nation’s best fire academies and with this funding in hand we are able to ensure our intensive training programs are able to continue safely for both instructors and students.”

This most recent grant award will be used to replace the more than 70 outdated breathing air packs, or self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which fire instructors are required to use while conducting firefighter training in hazardous conditions.  The devices provide breathable air in dangerous atmospheres or environments, like smoke-filled rooms.  Each air pack costs approximately $7,500 and consists of two air supply cylinders, as well as a mask.

“The Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls is an exceptional facility with trainers and staff who provide high-quality instruction to volunteer and career firefighters across the state,” said New York State Fire Administrator Francis “Skip” Nerney.  “Thanks to the hard work of our staff in securing this award for the seventh consecutive year, we are able to ensure our instructors are safe and protected while training New York’s next generation of firefighters.”

This 2020 award marks the seventh consecutive year in which the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control has been awarded funding through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Over the last several years, OFPC has used this funding to acquire state-of-the-art mobile training simulators which allow fire instructors to bring life-saving classes directly to firefighters, including search, rescue and survival training.  Additionally, funding has been used to improve the structure and grounds of the century-old facility, including parking lot repaving, roof replacement, rehabilitation of teaching and storage rooms, and asbestos abatement.  Living and learning environments were also improved, including state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, as well as new furniture and classroom equipment.

The State Academy of Fire Science trains nearly 50,000 firefighters annually, with approximately 5,000 of those receiving training at the Academy.  Training is delivered by more than 700 full-time and part-time fire instructors.  The residential training program at the Academy provides education for a variety of academic disciplines including fire suppression, fire department leadership and management, emergency medical services, hazardous materials, fire and arson investigation, fire prevention and code enforcement, incident management, technical rescue, and emergency response to terrorism.

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