WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) today announced federal grant awards totaling $604,586 for fire departments in Somerset (Franklin Twp.), Readington, Magnolia and Paterson through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.

"Fire departments need this funding so our brave firefighters are better prepared to succeed in emergencies and to protect the lives of New Jerseyans and themselves,"said Sen. Menendez."I am committed to fighting for this program to make our fire departments safer and more efficient and to protect the people in our communities on a daily basis."

"New Jersey firefighters valiantly put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe," said Sen. Booker. "This funding will help ensure their safety and enable them to better serve and protect our communities."

The grants to Somerset, Readington and Magnolia were awarded through the regular AFG program, while the funding given to Patterson is part of the AFG's Prevention & Safety program. All grants will help maintain first responder health and safety.

The specific grant awards follow:

  • $450,242 to the Commissioners of Fire District No. 1 - Somerset for breathing apparatuses
  • $47,988 to the Readington Volunteer Fire Company to replace a firehouse breathing air refilling system
  • $51,478 to the Magnolia Fire Company for the purchase of new protective equipment
  • $54,878 to the Paterson Fire Department for fire prevention

The funding aims to enhance the fire departments' abilities to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel. It can be invested in training, equipment, modifications to facilities, and anything that supports firefighting operations and safety.