Menendez, Booker, Pascrell Announce $152,728 FIRE Grant to City of Passaic

Menendez, Booker, Pascrell Announce $152,728 FIRE Grant to City of Passaic

Federal grant will provide critical turnout gear for 80 firefighters

PATERSON, NJ – Today, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a new federal Firefighter Investment Response Enhancement (FIRE) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) to the City of Passaic Fire Department in the amount of $152,728 for new turnout gear for 80 firefighters.

“Our first responders risk their lives each day to save ours and we must do everything we can to ensure they have the tools they need to protect their residents and communities,” said Sen. Menendez. “This grant will help ensure Passaic firefighters can operate more efficiently and that they are properly equipped to protect themselves and keep residents safe.”

"By collaborating at the federal and local levels, we have been able to secure wins for our state’s firefighters amounting to millions of dollars in grants that have translated into more jobs and better protections for those that put their lives on the line to protect us," said Sen. Booker. "I appreciate that FEMA has recognized the critical need for these grants and for the resources and support they provide to the brave men and women of New Jersey."

“It’s our priority to ensure our brave first responders have the equipment they need to not only keep themselves safe, but also the communities they put their lives on the line to protect,” stated Pascrell, who introduced the FIRE Act in March 1999. “The FIRE Act was written here in northern New Jersey with the purpose of helping communities like Passaic improve public safety and support their first responders. I stand committed to ensuring the FIRE Act remains fully funded so these brave professionals have every advantage available to keep the risk of loss of life and property damage at an absolute minimum.”

"As cities are forced to do more with less, this federal grant couldn’t come at a better time,” said Passaic Mayor Dr. Alex Blanco. "I thank Congressman Pascrell and Senators Menendez and Booker for their commitment to keeping our communities safe.”

"We are thrilled to be able to accept this grant and grateful for the help of our federal legislators in Congress," said Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost. "I understand the importance of ensuring our firefighters have the resources they need to keep our communities safe, and this federal grant makes a significant investment towards that goal.”

The AFG program makes direct grants to fire departments to purchase equipment, training, firefighting vehicles, and other firefighting and fire prevention activities. It also funds Fire Prevention and Safety Grants which are used for fire awareness and prevention activities, as well as fire safety related research. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant (SAFER) program makes grants to local fire departments to assist in the hiring of firefighters.

From FY2001-FY2010 New Jersey received nearly $200 million in grants to hire approximately 740 firefighters.

Today’s announcement marks Passaic’s fourth AFG grant since 2001, totaling $858,328.