2 NJ fire departments awarded $8.85M in federal grants

Jersey City Fire Chief Steve McGill said it’s the first time in department history that three grants were awarded in the same year


By Ron Zeitlinger
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

HUDSON COUNTY, N.J. — Two fire departments in Hudson County will receive nearly $10 million in federal grants to hire more firefighters and purchase new equipment, U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and Rep. Albio Sires announced Wednesday.

Jersey City and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue are recipients of the $8.85 million in SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) and AFG Assistance to Firefighters Grant) funding, through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The SAFER funding is used to hire and retain firefighters. The AFG grant provides funding for equipment and training.

Jersey City and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue are recipients of the SAFER and AFG grants. (Photo/Tribune News Service)
Jersey City and North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue are recipients of the SAFER and AFG grants. (Photo/Tribune News Service)

“Day after day, New Jersey’s firefighters go above and beyond to keep our families and communities safe,” Menendez said. “In return, we must fully invest in our fire departments to ensure they are sufficiently staffed and that our men and women are properly trained and equipped with the tools they need to keep us safe.”

Jersey City will receive $6,693,300 from the SAFER program, $1,129,090 from AFG, and will hire 54 firefighters, Mayor Steve Fulop said. The city also received $1 million from the Port Security Grant Program, which provides funding for JCFD to upkeep and perform maintenance on the fire boats.

“Jersey City has not only seen the highest number of firefighters in decades, but we’ve worked to rectify a previous problem, which is to ensure that every company is properly staffed every single night," the mayor said. "With this additional funding, we will continue to grow the department, provide the necessary resources and keep public safety throughout the city a top priority.”

Jersey City Fire Chief Steve McGill said it’s the first time in department history that three grants were awarded in the same year.

It "will continue to help us reach that goal of providing the utmost quality protection to our residents while keeping our brave men and women safe,” McGill said. “With these grants, the federal government is acknowledging our growing needs as Jersey City continues to see positive growth; increasing our call volume to extraordinary levels."

North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue will receive $1,029,087 in AFG funding.

“Firefighters play an important role in keeping our communities safe and these funds will help these departments carry out their life-saving work,” Sires said.

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©2019 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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