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Tonko Announces $960K to Skidmore College for Fire Prevention Program

Federal grant awarded to Capital Region college will support scientific research to improve firefighter safety

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY—Congressman Paul D. Tonko announced today that Skidmore College is being awarded a federal grant of $960,956.46 to support fire prevention and safety. The grant—administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Fiscal Year 2021 Fire Prevention & Safety Grant Awards program—is funded by the DHS Appropriations Act and American Rescue Plan Act.

“Ensuring our brave firefighters are provided with state-of-the-art equipment and training is critical in keeping them and our communities safe,” Congressman Tonko said. “Our Capital Region’s colleges are the cutting edge of innovation and development in numerous fields, and I’m delighted to announce that Skidmore College has been awarded this federal funding to expand research on firefighter health and support our local fire departments. This is yet another strong example of Democrats’ American Rescue Plan delivering for the people and ensuring our communities are safeguarded. I pledge to continue working to advance legislation that strengthens our Capital Region and beyond.”

Dr. Denise Smith, Director of the First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory and Professor of Health and Exercise Sciences at Skidmore College said, “I am grateful for the ongoing support of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program. This award will allow us to leverage past funding and ongoing relationships with the Fire Service and occupational health providers to effectively translate research into better firefighter health. By empowering firefighters to understand how to act upon research to mitigate occupational risks, we will help them effectively serve their communities.”

Dr. Marc Conner, President of Skidmore College said, “Professor Smith’s research into Firefighter Health and Safety is inspiring, recognizing and focusing on the health threats firefighters face and finding ways to improve their work and long-term health.  Skidmore is honored to receive another FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program award for Professor Smith’s work. This funding supports the joint research of faculty and students, and embodies Skidmore’s commitment to collaborative inquiry and creative solutions to challenging issues.”

This project will facilitate research relating to firefighter health challenges to develop a comprehensive firefighter health framework and mitigation tools that will be shared with the Fire Service.

The FY2021 Fire Prevention and Safety Program will make $46 million available to fire departments and non-profit organizations to strengthen community fire prevention programs and improve firefighter health, safety, and well-being. Since 2002, this program has provided an estimated $770 million in grant awards to deliver resources and strengthen community fire prevention programs.



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