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Sen. Chuck Schumer to introduce legislation designed to keep firefighters safe

New push to extend funding for fire departments
New push to extend funding for fire departments 00:51

NEW YORK -- Long Island volunteer fire departments have been sounding the alarm because they fear federal funding for equipment upgrades could run out.

Fire departments rely on federal grants and that's not always enough. The East Williston Fire Department is using outdated equipment. Volunteers there use a breathing apparatus that dates to 2003.

Fire department funding secured by Sen. Chuck Schumer in 1999 will run out this year if not extended. Schumer said Monday he will introduce the "Fire Grants and Safety Act" next week to keep firefighters safe.

"We have much better equipment these days. It saves lives. It saves the lives of firefighters, and it saves the lives of the people they protect, but the equipment is more expensive," Schumer said.

Schumer said he is seeking bipartisan support for the bill, not only for Long Island but also for fire departments across the nation. 

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