The Central Islip Fire Department has been awarded a federal grant for more than $300,000 to purchase new equipment that will enhance their emergency response times, Sen. Charles E. Schumer announced Wednesday.

The money comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It totals $311,850, Schumer said.

It was not immediately clear what kind of equipment the department planned to purchase with the grant money.

A spokesman for the department said officials there had just learned of the grant and had no comment.

"This essential grant ensures that fire departments in Central Islip will continue to have the basic resources required to do their jobs, improve safety and save lives," Schumer said in a prepared statement.

"These funds are truly a life-saving investment that will provide our local first responders with indispensable resources and support, so they can be better prepared for emergencies."

The grant program assists local departments to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operation through specialized training and the addition of specialized equipment and facility upgrades.

The funds are designed to improve response to situations such as terrorist attacks, enhancement of emergency medical services, development of health and safety initiatives and the establishment of fire education and prevention programs, Schumer said.

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