WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that the Somerdale Fire Department will receive a federal grant totaling $119,700 that can be invested in new equipment and training or safety operations. The funding is awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.

"This federal grant will help ensureSomerdale's firefighters have the resources to continue protecting their community,"said Sen. Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds the AFG program."Grants like this one are critical to the safety of New Jersey communities, and wewillcontinue working to ensure our first responders are adequately equipped and prepared to serve."

"I am very proud of the dedicated volunteer firefighters who serve Somerdale, and I'm very glad that they have been awarded this funding that will be such a critical aid to them as they respond to emergencies and work to protect their community,"said Senator Menendez, a longtime supporter of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program."We owe nothing less to our first responders than to give them our best efforts to provide them with the equipment they need to do their jobs as safely and as efficiently as possible. I congratulate Fire Chief Daniels and Mayor Passanante on their being awarding this important funding."

The grant will be used to obtain newself-contained breathing apparatuses, which are usedby firefightersto provide air in dangeroussituations, such as when toxic smoke is present.

"This grant will replace aging air packs, better preparing the brave men and women of our fire department to answer the call and protect the residents of Somerdale,"said Somerdale Mayor Gary Passanante. "I thank Senator Menendez and Senator Lautenberg for their support of this crucial program that allows municipalities like Somerdale to make investments in the safety of our volunteer firefighters and neighbors and I look forward to working with Council and Chief Daniels to ensure that this equipment is put in service as quickly as possible."

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