Payne, Menendez, Booker, Sires Announce Nearly $6M to Hire Firefighters, Strengthen Public Safety in Newark

Aug 18, 2016 Issues: Local Issues

Newark, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressmen Donald M. Payne, Jr. and Albio Sires today announced that Newark Fire Department is receiving nearly $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) and Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Every day, New Jersey’s firefighters take very real risks to keep us safe, and they deserve our best efforts to ensure they can successfully perform their duties and protect themselves from harm,” said Cong. Payne, Jr. “This $6 million in funding will enable the hiring of new full-time firefighters to help protect Newark residents and improve responses to emergencies.”

“This is a significant investment in public safety for the city of Newark,” said Sen. Menendez.  “With this funding, we will be able to put several new full-time firefighters on the job, protecting Newark’s neighborhoods. Our first responders put their lives on the line each day, and we must make certain that they have the resources they need to save lives.”

“New Jersey’s firefighters and fire departments have the vital responsibility of protecting our communities,” said Sen. Booker. “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 Newark 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 the Newark Fire Department,” said Cong. Sires. “Each day, the firefighters from the Newark Fire Department respond to emergencies throughout the entire city. This significant grant will provide for more manpower on shifts; resulting in more adequate responses to emergencies in the area.”

Specifically, the Newark Fire Department was awarded:

  • $5,857,236 SAFER grant
  • $81,819 AFG grant

The AFG program provides funding to first-responder organizations for emergency response equipment, personnel protective gear, firefighting vehicles and training.  The SAFER program helps departments hire and retain firefighters, enhancing the ability of departments to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and assuring that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.

Senators Menendez and Booker annually co-sponsor workshops across New Jersey to help local fire departments prepare applications for these very competitive programs.

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