Menendez, Booker Announce Nearly $5M to Support Hiring, Safety Enhancements at New Jersey Fire Departments

Menendez, Booker Announce Nearly $5M to Support Hiring, Safety Enhancements at New Jersey Fire Departments

Announcement comes days after Senate unanimously authorizes $1M to begin Menendez Firefighter Cancer Registry

NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, along with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, today announced a total of $4,878,029 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support fire departments across New Jersey, including over $2 million for the Newark Fire Department. The grants will allow fire departments to hire more firefighters, buy new equipment and enhance safety measures.

“In recent years, I’ve worked hard to keep funding for our first responders off the chopping block. Last year, I joined Senator John McCain on legislation to reauthorize these grant programs, which are vital to keeping the 30,000 fire departments across America prepared for today’s challenges,” said Sen. Menendez. “So let me say to the firefighters and emergency personnel here today, so long as I am New Jersey’s Senior Senator you better believe I will fight back against any proposal that undermines the heroic work that all of you do each day.”



“The funding announced today will put more firefighters on the ground here in Newark and across our state while ensuring that our fire departments and fire fighters are getting access to the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs safely,” said Sen. Booker. “New Jersey’s firefighters are our heroes—and they deserve not just our gratitude, but our steadfast support.”

“Newark is financially much stronger today than when I took office four years ago,” Mayor Baraka said. “This has enabled us to recently add three custom 110-foot aerial ladder fire trucks and seven new Haz-Mat fire vehicles to our firefighting force. We have also been adding additional firefighters to bring the department back to its past strength. By enabling us to add 20 additional firefighters, Senator Menendez is helping us to do much more to protect the safety of Newark residents.”


The Newark Fire Department will receive the largest grant of $2,682,981. With this money, the City of Newark plans to hire 20 new firefighters. Since 2010, Sen. Menendez has secured $31,868,900 in Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grants for Newark. The city has also received $1,788,026 in Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) since 2002.

New Jersey as a whole has received more than $173.4 million in AFG grants since 2001 and more than $250.4 million in SAFER funding since 2006.

Sen. Menendez has long championed New Jersey’s firefighters.

Earlier this week the Senate unanimously approved $1 million in federal funding to implement Sen. Menendez’s landmark legislation, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act. The act would create a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with the deadly disease and calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor and study the relationship between career-long exposure to dangerous fumes and toxins and the incidence of cancer in firefighters to determine if there is a link, and to develop better protective gear and prevention techniques.

“In Washington, creating a new program is only half the battle. You also have to win the funding. And this week in the Senate I’m proud to have secured a million dollars in startup funding for the CDC to get the Firefighters Cancer Registry up and running,” said Sen. Menendez. “For doctors, researchers, and health experts, we know that data is often the key to unlocking new discoveries. And those discoveries can take many shapes – from the development of better safety protocols to protect firefighters on the job to the discovery of lifesaving treatments.”

The bill, which was unanimously approved by the Senate in May, and signed into law last month, was reintroduced in February 2017, with 49 bipartisan Senate cosponsors.


Joining Sen. Menendez and Mayor Baraka was Newark’s Assistant Public Safety Director, Raul Malavi.

“I want to thank our federal partners, our federal legislators who fight hard to ensure New Jersey gets our fair share of federal grant money and Homeland Security funds. They have provided us with letters of support whenever we asked them to, to include in our grant fund submission and they send us emails alerting us of certain grants when they think Newark can take advantage of them,” Malavi said. “We are very lucky to have Senator Bob Menendez with us. Thank you, Senator.”


The following departments received SAFER grants:

  • $2,682,981 – Newark Fire Department (Essex)
  •    $159,100 – Florence Township Fire Department (Burlington)
  •    $154,764 – Gloucester Township Fire Department Dist. 4 (Camden)

Funds under the SAFER program are intended to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

The following departments received AFG awards:

  • $345,239 – North Arlington Fire Department (Bergen)
  • $213,715 – Hillsdale Volunteer Fire Department (Bergen)
  • $198,096 – Quakertown Fire Department (Pittstown, Hunterdon)
  • $189,715 – Erskine Lakes Volunteer Fire Company  (Ringwood, Passaic)
  • $175,637 – Macopin Volunteer Fire Company (West Milford, Passaic)
  • $132,286 – Ferrell Volunteer Fire Company (Monroeville, Gloucester)
  • $126,839 – Berlin Fire Company (Camden)
  • $112,762 – Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company (Ocean)
  • $111,429 – Lawnside Volunteer Fire Company (Camden)
  •   $86,182 – Hackensack Fire Department (Bergen)
  •   $84,734 – Laurence Harbor Fire Department (Middlesex)
  •   $70,477 – Clinton Fire Department (Hunterdon)
  •   $23,596 – High Bridge Fire Department (Hunterdon)
  •   $10,477 – Skyline Lake Volunteer Fire Department (Ringwood, Passaic)

The AFG Program supports state fire departments, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations and fire training academies in ensuring the growth and advancement of their ability to protect the well-being and safety of all New Jerseyans as well as first-responder personnel.

Earlier this month Sens. Menendez and Booker announced over $1 million in SAFER and AFG awards to fire departments across the state.