North Jersey’s Bravest will receive federal AFG awards to keep firefighters safe on the job
PATERSON, NJ – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), co-chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) of $142,650.91 to the Passaic Fire Department and $148,786.36 to the Englewood Fire Department. Administered by DHS, the AFG program provides direct support to eligible fire departments to help them meet the demanding and ever-evolving nature of their work. Passaic will use this federal award to purchase breathing apparatus fill stations, a breathing apparatus fitting station, and air filters for eight fire trucks. Englewood will use its funds to provide state-of-the-art vehicle extrication training to its firefighters.
Annual funding for this grant program is provided by Rep. Pascrell’s Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act, which was signed into law in 2000 by President Bill Clinton.
“Our firefighters on the frontlines have protected our communities valiantly during this pandemic. Now more than ever our nation’s firefighters need our support. This federal investment in two stellar North Jersey departments will help them continue their vital work of keeping our communities safe,” said Rep. Pascrell, one of Congress’s leading supporters of America’s fire services. “Working with President Biden, I am more confident than ever that these grants will continue to flow into our cities and towns here in the Ninth Congressional District. I am proud that we were able to bring this federal money home for our greater community, and I will continue to fight for every cent that supports New Jersey’s first responders.”
“On behalf of Englewood’s Fire Department, I thank Congressman Pascrell for his stalwart advocacy and action,” said Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes. “With increasing calls; wear on equipment; and supporting the safety of Englewood’s bravest: this could not have happened at a better time! I have always believed that Public Service is a Public Trust. We can always rely on Congressman Bill Pascrell and are so appreciative of the delivery of such significant support through a pandemic as well.”
Rep. Pascrell is a longtime champion of public safety funding in the Congress. Earlier this year he helped pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which provided an additional $200 million for the Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program in FY21. SAFER grants support the hiring and retention of firefighters. The relief package also includes an additional $100 million for Rep. Pascrell’s AFG program in FY21, which helps departments invest in lifesaving equipment and resources, such as personal protective equipment, and provide training and mental health support.
Through his FIRE Act, Rep. Pascrell helps procure hundreds of thousands in federal support for New Jersey firefighters each year. Since the outset of the pandemic, Rep. Pascrell has worked to secure millions in emergency federal funding to aid New Jersey in its fight against the virus. Rep. Pascrell helped pass the CARES Act in March 2020, which also included $100 million in emergency AFG funding.