When the federal budget cuts, known as the sequester, go into effect, the state and nation will be greatly impacted.
One area of impact is for emergency responders. According to information released by the White House, FEMA would have to reduce funding for state and local grants that support firefighter positions and state and local emergency management personnel, hampering the ability to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies.
According to Somers Fire Department Chief Gary Schiessl, it appears that the major impact from an emergency services perspective is around SAFER grants to add personnel.
“We have not utilized these grants as this cost ultimately becomes the responsibility of the town,” he said.
Schiessl said that the department has utilized equipment grants extensively in the past (over $300,000) to purchase items such as new Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and Radios.
“I don’t believe that these grants are being impacted,” he said.
The cuts will go into effect on Friday unless a last minute deal is reached.