NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced a combined $1,431,304.39 to ensure New Jersey’s local fire departments and EMS squads are properly equipped and staffed to protect the communities they serve, and to purchase additional protective gear and supplies needed to combat COVID-19.

“New Jersey’s first responders are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight.  They risk their lives each and every day to protect us and deserve all the support they can get,” said Sen. Menendez. “This important funding will help ensure our firefighters and EMS squads have the equipment, personal protective gear and personnel they need to both protect themselves and the residents and communities they serve.” 

“Our firefighters and first responders always step in for our communities when they are needed -- even, and especially, during a pandemic.  New Jersey’s firefighters must have the resources they need to protect themselves and our communities,” said Sen. Booker.  “This funding will help New Jersey departments increase safety and operational efficiency, hire, recruit, and retain volunteer firefighters and strengthen the quality of our state’s emergency services.”

The following departments have received Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to hire or retain firefighters in an effort to increase the number of frontline firefighters, enhance the ability of departments to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing, and assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards: 

  • $316,500 – Laurence Harbor Fire Dept. (Old Bridge, Middlesex) to fund active recruitment for the all-volunteer unit 
  • $138,000 – Willingboro Twp. (Burlington) to hire/retain firefighters
  • $74,250 – Twp. of Washington (Bergen) to hire/retain firefighters
  • $48,876 – Gordons Corner Fire Co. (Englishtown, Monmouth) to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters

The following departments have been awarded Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help local fire departments and EMS organizations acquire new equipment and vehicles to enhance their response capabilities, as well as to allow them to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel:

  • $260,997.35 – Tri-Boro First Aid Squad (Seaside Park, Ocean) to purchase a new ambulance
  • $234,761.90 – Franklin Lakes (Bergen) to purchase a new radio system 
  • $227,272.73 – Teaneck Vol. Ambulance Corps (Bergen) to purchase a new ambulance
  • $22,805.71 – Robbinsville (Mercer) for operations and safety

The CARES Act provides supplemental AFG funding to help local first responders purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and related supplies to the fire service community to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The following departments received AFG-S grants: 

  • $41,888.00 – Bayonne (Hudson)
  • $35,263.33 – North Bergen (Hudson)
  • $16,152.58 – Englewood (Bergen)
  • $14,536.79 – Green Creek Vol. Fire Co. (Middle Twp., Cape May)