Menendez, Booker, Pascrell, Sires Announce $3.7M in Federal Grants for NJ Fire Departments

Menendez, Booker, Pascrell, Sires Announce $3.7M in Federal Grants for NJ Fire Departments

Clifton, Kearny, Medford Lakes to Hire, Recruit New Firefighters. Funding to Improve Safety, Operations in Oradell, Deal, Elk Twp.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressmen Bill Pascrell (N.J.-09) and Albio Sires (N.J.-08), today announced a combined $3,742.909 in federal grants to hire more firefighters and improve safety and operations in local fire departments across New Jersey. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Our first responders put their lives on the line each day and we must make certain that they have the resources they need to save lives,” said Sen. Menendez. “These federal grants will help ensure New Jersey fire departments are adequately staffed and our firefighters properly equipped to protect both themselves and the communities they serve.”

“The grants announced today will enable these fire departments to advance their operations while keeping our brave firefighters safe,” said Sen. Booker. “Ensuring that our first responders have the equipment and training they need to serve the public in emergencies is of the upmost importance to me and I remain committed to making sure that these funds are available to our great state.”

The SAFER program seeks to increase the number of frontline firefighters, enhancing the ability of departments to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and assuring that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.

The following SAFER grants were awarded:

• $1,730,564 Clifton Fire Dept. (Passaic)
To hire 11 new firefighters

• $1,595,844 Kearny Fire Dept. (Hudson)
To hire 12 new firefighters

• $107,000 Medford Lakes Fire Dept. (Burlington)
For volunteer recruitment and retention efforts

“This federal grant couldn’t come at a better time, as communities like Clifton and Kearny continue to feel budgets constraints that threaten critical public safety resources,” stated Rep. Pascrell, who was a prime author and mover of both the SAFER Act and the FIRE Act. “I wrote the SAFER Act to help fire departments like Clifton and Kearny avoid having to face a significantly depleted force that could potentially jeopardize the safety of our communities. While there are still those in Congress who seek to undermine these effective programs, I stand committed to fighting to ensure they are fully funded in order to assist our brave men and women on the front lines.”

“I congratulate the Mayor Alberto Santos and the Council members for pursuing this competitive grant on behalf of the Kearny Fire Department and the residents of Kearny,” said Rep. Sires. “With these additional funds, Kearny's outstanding fire department will continue to provide the highest level of overall safety for its residents and their neighborhoods.”

The following AFG grants were awarded:

• $160,000 Oradell Volunteer Fire Dept. (Bergen)
For the purchase of a new ambulance

• $57,501 Deal Fire Company No. 2 (Monmouth)
For safety and operations

• $92,000 Aura Volunteer Fire Dept. (Elk Twp., Gloucester)
For new breathing apparatuses

The AFG program provides funding to enhance response capabilities, as well as to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel.