Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator to award the City of Newburgh a third grant that would prevent the layoffs of nine firefighters this summer.
Schumer advocated for Newburgh’s Fire Department in a call last week to FEMA Administrator Brock Long as the agency considers whether to approve the city’s application for $1.37 million from its Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response program.
An initial grant awarded in 2014 enabled Newburgh to hire 15 additional firefighters, and FEMA approved a second award in 2016 as money from the first grant ran out and city faced laying off firefighters holding 12 of the new positions.
In April Newburgh’s City Council voted to apply for a third grant from the SAFER program, this time to cover nine positions. If the grant is denied, the city will have to lay off firefighters at the end of July.