ERIE.GOV | Your information resource from the government of Erie County, New York

County Executive Elected Officials County Departments Living In Erie County Visiting Erie County Growing your business in Erie County State and regional municipalities

Officials Advocate for Increased First Responder Grant Funding


We’ve all read the stories in the paper of the countless individuals suffering from the ongoing opioid epidemic. There has been a lot of talk of families being ripped apart by this tragedy, too often we hear talk but see little action.

Legislator Ted Morton joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam Stoltman to announce continued funding for school resource officers (SRO) in several local districts. The SRO program provides a uniformed officer in schools as a way to promote student safety, conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives.

At a Legislative session held on September 21, 2017, Legislator Ted Morton honored Lancaster resident, Dick Young as the September 2017 Citizen of the month.

Today, in response to the County Executive’s offer to work with Legislator Morton to develop a compromise Made in America Act, Legislator Ted Morton wrote to him to begin the process.

Legislator Ted Morton first introduced the Made in America Act in support of local manufacturers and local workers in Erie County. After passing the Legislature by a vote of 9-1, the County Executive vetoed the law after instructing the County Attorney to draft a legal opinion.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton joined Congressman Chris Collins and Congressman Peter King at a press conference on April 25, 2016 urging an increase in first responder grant funding. The two Congressmen discussed a letter they signed and sent to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee requesting additional funding for the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) Grant Program and for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program.

“I want to thank Congressmen Collins and King for advocating today on behalf of our firefighting community. When the call for help goes out, they voluntarily leave what they are doing and respond, no matter the time of the day. They are the reason so many of our neighbors, friends and family members are here today. It is my hope that the requested funding will be approved to provide support for equipment and training to provide our firefighters with the tools they need to get the job done and save lives, while protecting themselves,” said Legislator Morton.

Representatives Chris Collins (NY-27) and Peter King (NY-02) released the following statements:

“Our communities’ first responders bravely put their lives on the line on a daily basis to keep us out of harm’s way,” said Congressman Collins. “The SAFER and FIRE grant programs need to be expanded to provide the equipment and staff levels needed to allow our first responders to do their jobs and to keep our communities safe. I want to thank Congressman King for making the time to join me in this effort.”

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I am proud to be a leading advocate for funding the needs of our fire service,” said Congressman King. “The FIRE and SAFER grant programs are key to improving the readiness of our nation’s firefighters and emergency service workers. We must ensure that firefighters and first responders have the funding they need to continue protecting and serving our communities, and  I am glad to partner with Congressman Collins in advocating for increased funding for these vital grant programs.”

“The funds available through this program are crucial for our department and others across our community. We take our responsibilities as first responders seriously, and having the right equipment to do the job makes all the difference. As everyone knows, funding is a challenge. I want to thank Congressman Collins and Congressman King for recognizing how important our job is and fighting to expand this program,” said Chief Elect Scott Wegst, Depew Fire Department.

The FIRE Grant Program provides direct funding assistance to fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS, and State Fire Training Academies for equipment and training. It also supports projects to enhance the safety of firefighters and the public.  The SAFER Grant Program provides direct funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to increase the number of trained firefighters available. New York first responders and local fire stations have received nearly $400 million in direct funding since the inception of both grant programs.

For additional information or questions about a county issue, please contact Legislator Morton at 858-8856 or email