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Five Long Island groups share in state grants

Five Long Island groups — including three fire departments — are among 21 groups statewide to share $390,000 in funding, part of a grant program designed to boost efforts to recruit and retain volunteer emergency service workers.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services this week announced the grants, which are funded by state residents who designated on their income tax forms that they wanted to contribute to the Volunteer Firefighting & EMS Recruitment Fund.

On Long Island, the Albertson Fire Company, the South Hempstead Fire Department and Bellerose Terrace Fire Department will share $25,000, the maximum amount doled out for a single applicant or group of applicants. The state said the grants would fund placing LED signs, displaying “messages as part of a larger countywide recruitment program,” at “strategic locations within Nassau County.”

The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, which is based in Wantagh and supports firefighters and their families with medical, educational and equipment needs, will share a $25,000 grant with the Nassau County Junior Firefighters Association. The state said the grants will fund a leadership conference that centers on preparing young firefighters for service and on leadership and retention issues in the fire service.

Funding for groups was uneven, ranging from $4,400 to the maximum $25,000.

“The recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters and emergency services personnel is critical to protecting public safety in the state of New York,” state Homeland Security Commissioner Jerome Hauer said in a news release.

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