Menendez, Booker Visit Jersey City Firehouse Ahead of 9/11 Anniversary; Announce Federal Funding to Hire More Jersey City Firefighters, Enhance Emergency Response

Menendez, Booker Visit Jersey City Firehouse Ahead of 9/11 Anniversary; Announce Federal Funding to Hire More Jersey City Firefighters, Enhance Emergency Response

JCFD among first to respond to WTC attacks; Jersey City was safe haven for thousands fleeing Lower Manhattan on 9/11

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today visited a firehouse in Jersey City with Mayor Steven M. Fulop to meet with local first responders ahead of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks and to announce federal funding to hire more firefighters and enhance training to help ensure Jersey City’s readiness to respond to future emergencies.

“As we once again reflect on the events of 9/11, we are reminded of the risks our first responders face every day and the sacrifices they make to protect each and every one of us.  There is no more selfless job than that of a firefighter.  The JCFD stood up when the towers fell on 9/11.  They saved lives, assisted in the evacuation of Lower Manhattan, and later served at Ground Zero, only further exposing themselves to toxic dust and debris that have sickened so many,” said Sen. Menendez.  “Investing in our firefighters is an investment in our own safety and the safety of our families.  This federal funding will help provide the necessary staffing so the Jersey City Fire Department is fully prepared to respond to the next emergency, whether that be a house fire, natural disaster, or man-made disaster.”

“As we pause to reflect on the selfless sacrifice of the heroes we lost on the September 11th terror attacks, let us renew our commitment to providing the men and women in firehouses across New Jersey and our nation the resources they need to protect themselves and our communities,” said Sen. Booker.  “Jersey City firefighters were on the front lines that tragic day 15 years ago, rushing into harm’s way to save the lives of others.  Federal investments like this in public safety help ensure that our brave first responders in Jersey City and beyond will never stand alone.”

(l-r) Mayor Fulop, Sen. Menendez and Sen. Booker stand with Jersey City’s bravest to announce federal funding to hire 16 new firefighters and retain another 45.

The Jersey City Fire Department (JCFD) has been awarded an $8.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, which helps local fire departments to hire, recruit and retain firefighters to ensure proper staffing levels to protect their citizens and communities. 

“This federal funding is critically important to Hudson County’s fastest growing city,” said Congressmen Albio Sires (N.J.-08).  “As Jersey City inches closer to becoming New Jersey’s largest municipality, it is essential that it has the resources to provide adequate coverage for its growing population.  I am pleased that our firefighters in Jersey City will now have more resources and manpower to better protect the city’s residents.”

"New Jersey firefighters take very real risks to protect our communities, and we have a responsibility to provide them with the support they need to safely and effectively do their jobs," said Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10).  "This $8.4 million grant will ensure that the Jersey City Fire Department has the personnel needed to save lives and strengthen its public safety efforts."

This two-year grant covers the salaries and benefits for 61 firefighters.  Jersey City plans to use the funding to hire 16 new firefighters and retain another 45, originally hired in 2013 through a $6.8M SAFER grant. 

“Jersey City was at the forefront of responding to 9/11, and our firefighters continue to be on the front lines of our emergency response efforts.  As Jersey City continues to grow, we are expanding our public safety personnel, equipment and training and this grant will be a powerful tool in helping us retain and hire additional firefighters," said Mayor Fulop.  "We want to thank Senators Menendez and Booker, and Congressmen Sires and Payne, for their tireless advocacy to ensure that Jersey City always receives this type of critical funding so we can continue to provide the highest level of public safety for our residents.”

JCFD received an additional $62,500 grant for EMT training for the 16 new firefighters.  As part of Jersey City’s grant application to FEMA, the fire department requested these additional funds to further its mission for all Jersey City first responders to be trained as EMTs and better equipped to handle all emergencies.  There are currently 19 firefighters in the academy receiving EMT training.

Since 2005, New Jersey fire departments have been awarded $228.3 million in SAFER grants, administered by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), including $23,416,925 to Jersey City.

The Senators and Congressmen have also supported the federal Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program, which provides funding to ensure local firefighters are properly equipped and trained.  Since it was established in 2001, New Jersey has received $163.6 million in funding from the AFG program to enhance response capabilities, including $3,686,334 to the JCFD.

Press Contact (Menendez)