Menendez, Booker, Sires Announce Nearly $6M to Hire Firefighters, Strengthen Public Safety in North Hudson Communities

Menendez, Booker, Sires Announce Nearly $6M to Hire Firefighters, Strengthen Public Safety in North Hudson Communities

NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressman Albio Sires today announced that North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue is receiving $6 million in federal funding to hire full-time firefighters and help strengthen the department's ability to effectively respond to local fire emergencies, protect high-risk populations and decrease firefighter injuries. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"I am incredibly pleased that with today's announcement, we will be able to put several new full-time firefighters on the job, protecting our neighborhoods," said Sen. Menendez, who co-sponsors with Sen. Booker workshops to help departments prepare competitive grant applications. "Public safety is job one and this is a critical investment in our ongoing fight to strengthen our communities, protect our families and support our first responders."

“New Jersey’s firefighters and fire departments have the vital responsibility of protecting our communities,” Booker, who wrote FEMA in-support of North Hudson’s application, said. They deserve more support and resources so they are able to do their jobs safely and effectively. The FEMA funding announced today will help keep people in North Hudson New Jersey safe, putting new firefighters on the ground and helping to recruit the staff necessary to protect our communities.”

“This federal funding will have a big impact on North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue and the five municipalities the department protects,” said Rep. Sires. “Each day, the firefighters from North Hudson Regional respond to emergencies in Guttenberg, North Bergen, Union City, West New York, and Weehawken. This significant grant will provide for more manpower on shifts; resulting in more adequate responses to emergencies in the area.”

“North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue protects one of the most densely populated areas in the country, which houses mass transit infrastructure that is critical not only to our local communities, but to our region,” said Fire Chief Frank Montagne. “This grant will allow North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue to continue to ensure our ability to provide first-class fire and rescue services by providing the department with the resources needed to protect our residents.”  

Specifically, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHR) will receive a $5,994,660 SAFER grant to hire or retain full time fire fighters. NHR is New Jersey's only regionalized fire department and serves the following municipalities: Guttenberg, North Bergen, Weehawken, West New York and Union City.  Its 12.5 square-mile primary service area is the nation's most densely-populated.

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