After 100 Years, A New Firehouse For Paterson: Sens. Lautenberg, Menendez, Rep. Pascrell And Paterson Mayor Torres Announce $4.5 Million For The Construction Of A New Firehouse In Paterson

After 100 Years, A New Firehouse For Paterson: Sens. Lautenberg, Menendez, Rep. Pascrell And Paterson Mayor Torres Announce $4.5 Million For The Construction Of A New Firehouse In Paterson

Federal funding for the new firehouse, through the Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grant program is one of three awarded in the nation

Paterson - After 100 years in a firehouse that posed challenges to current Paterson firefighters, Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres, was proud to announce that federal funding will provide for the building of a facility that will house and protect, not only necessary fire equipment and fire trucks; it will allow the brave men and women of the Paterson Fire Department to enjoy a space that is prepared to house all of its members. Senators Lautenberg and Menendez as well as Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. were instrumental in securing the stimulus funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grant program. The $4.5 million competitive grant is one of three awarded in the nation.

"I'm am pleased that this grant award will not only allow our brave men and women of the Fire Department to operate from a modern facility; the construction will be providing much needed jobs," said Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres. "The facility will serve the community and be better prepared to operate in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, and the federal funding will provide the necessary tools and equipment to maintain the integrity of that neighborhood, as well as the safety of the entire city. I'm very grateful that we were able to receive this grant."

Under the administration of Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres, and the direction of Fire Director Glen Brown and Fire Chief Michael Postorino, the Paterson Fire Department has been awarded in excess of $15 million in federal grants. These grants have enabled the Department to procure personnel, apparatus, and equipment necessary to provide an all-hazard response capability and enhance the safety of its members and the community which it serves.

Also in attendance were Steve Coppa of Comerro Coppa Architects, and Daniel Hernandez, of H & S Construction & Mechanical Inc., who described the future facility. The total area of the two floors will have approximately 26,500 square feet of habitable area. The plan includes: Apparatus Storage for four full size aerial ladders with a vehicle exhaust system, 8" thick concrete slabs with floor drains and grease interceptor, Dormitory / sleeping quarters for both male and female firefighters, Locker room facility, toilets, and showers, dayroom with dining, kitchen, food storage, lounge seating, and audio visual communications, gear storage, and equipment storage.

The Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grants (FSC) provide financial assistance directly to fire departments on a competitive basis to build new or modify existing fire stations in order for departments to enhance their response capability and protect the community they serve from fire and fire-related hazards. The authority for FSC is derived from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Congress appropriated a total of $210 million for this Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 program. Our primary goal is to help fire departments meet their firefighting and emergency response needs. FSC seeks to support organizations lacking the tools and resources necessary to effectively protect the health and safety of the public and their emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.

"This investment in the Paterson Fire Department will provide firefighters with the facility they need to best protect the community create jobs and help boost the local economy," said Lautenberg, who as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee helped to write the Recovery Act. "Investing in this firehouse construction project for the Silk City's bravest lays the foundation for a safer, stronger community in my hometown city of Paterson."

The construction of this new, state-of-the art facility will help Engine Company #7 respond to emergencies even more effectively and efficiently than they already do, and it will employ local workers at a time when unemployment is high and so many people are looking for jobs," said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. "This is exactly the type of Recovery investment project that boosts the economy, makes us more secure, and rebuilds our public safety infrastructure."

"I fought hard to ensure fire station construction money was included in the Recovery Act. It just makes sense to create construction jobs through projects that are vital to public safety," said Pascrell, an original member of the House Homeland Security Committee and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee who voted in favor of the Recovery Act in February 2009. "We've had a lot of success in the FIRE Act's first 10 years, providing fire departments with the equipment they need to protect their communities. This grant through the Recovery Act is particularly satisfying because it will bring a new, much-needed fire station to the people in my hometown, the city of Paterson."

A group of firefighters from Engine Company No. 7 flanked Paterson Fire Chief Michael Postorino, who described the need for the new facility and expressed his gratitude: "I want to thank Congressman Pascrell, Senator Lautenberg and Senator Menendez for their support of all our grants. Without federal funding, we would not be able to accomplish this," said Postorino.