Menendez, Booker, Payne Announce $190K Federal Grant to Better Protect East Orange Firefighters

Menendez, Booker, Payne Announce $190K Federal Grant to Better Protect East Orange Firefighters

EAST ORANGE, NJ – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J-10), today announced the awarding of a $190,127 federal Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) to improve safety and operations in East Orange.  The AFG program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“There is no more selfless, more courageous job than that of a firefighter.  It defies all logic and reason to run into a burning building, but these firefighters do it anyway,” said Sen. Menendez.  “It is reassuring that our brave firefighters will be suited with the highest level of protective gear while they are answering the call to protect us.  This grant will help ensure East Orange firefighters have the tools they need to protect themselves and keep their residents and community safe.” 

“I am immensely grateful for the funds that the AFG program provides to many fire departments throughout our state,” said Sen. Booker.  “As a former mayor, I know how crucial these funds can be.  That’s why my office is committed to making sure that fire departments like the one here in East Orange have the resources they need to save lives.  Today, I am happy we can announce that these federal dollars will be coming to New Jersey, allowing for necessary upgrades to equipment and greatly contributing to the safety, health and well-being of the brave men and women in this fire department.”   

“This grant will enhance the safety and efficiency of the East Orange Fire Department as they continue to safeguard the well-being of residents,” said Rep. Payne, Jr.  “Just as firefighters protect our communities, we have a responsibility to provide them with needed support, including the equipment necessary to safely and effectively respond to emergencies.”

The East Orange Fire Dept. intends to use the federal grant money to purchase new personal protective gear for its firefighters, including new turnout coats and pants and boots that will fully meet new safety standards.

“From fighting fires and emergency operations to fire prevention education and community outreach, the brave men and women of the East Orange Fire Dept. do an outstanding job serving our community day in and day out,” said East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III.  “Public safety is always a top priority and it is especially important that we outfit our fire department with equipment that is essential to the protection of our firefighters.  This grant will allow us to provide all 149 members of EOFD with new protective gear that will enhance safety, boost morale and increase the overall efficiency of our fire department.”

Since it was established in 2001, New Jersey has received $152.1 million in funding from the AFG program.  This year, Garden State fire departments and first aid squads have been awarded $3,237,400 in AFGs for training and equipment upgrades.  In addition to East Orange, the following departments received grant funding, with more announcements expected in the coming months:

  • Delran Emergency Squad $44,569           
  • Hamilton Twp. Fire District #5 $110,550           
  • Lakehurst Volunteer Fire Co. No.1 $30,477           
  • Milton First Aid Squad Inc. (Oak Ridge) $144,918           
  • North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue (West New York) $15,273           
  • Twp. of Robbinsville $111,585
  • Collingswood Fire Dept. (Regional Request) $1,538,758
  • Jackson Twp. First Aid Squad $117,064
  • City of Brigantine Fire Dept. $268,096
  • Cologne Volunteer Fire Co. (Mays Landing) $94,286
  • Haddon Twp. Fire District No.1 (Westmont) $325,905
  • Helmetta Fire Dept. $46,858
  • Pomona Vol. Fire Assoc. #3 $17,684
  • Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps $61,819           
  • Green Creek Volunteer Fire Co. $52,096
  • Oceanville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 (Galloway) $19,715
  • Highland Chemical Engine Co. (Pitman) $47,620

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.  Today’s grant increases the East Orange Fire Department’s total funding received from the AFG program, since 2003, to $688,537.

The Senators and Congressman have also supported the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program which awards grants to local fire departments to hire, recruit and retain firefighters to ensure proper staffing levels to protect their citizens and communities.  Since the program was created in 2003, $146.5 million in SAFER funding has been awarded to New Jersey fire departments, including a $1,883,951 grant to East Orange in 2011.