HACKENSACK, NJ -- Fire Departments across the state of New Jersey were awarded millions of dollars in federal grants last week through U.S. Department of Homeland Security grants. Among the fire departments awarded significant funding was Hackensack, which received $86,182 in Assistance to Firefighter (AFG) grants.

“On behalf of the Hackensack Fire Department, I would like to thank Mayor Labrosse and the City Council as well as City Manager Ehrenburg for supporting us in applying for FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant," said Hackensack Fire Chief Thomas Freeman. "I would also like to thank Senator Booker and Senator Menendez, who work tirelessly and consistently to promote public safety. We are very excited that this grant now enables us to replace and upgrade our thermal imaging cameras and firefighter personal escape systems."

The grant funding is being dedicated to thermal imaging cameras, which are used to see through smoke to help locate individuals trapped. These cameras can also identify heat sources in walls or ceilings.

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“I want to thank all those who were responsible for helping us get this grant which is certainly needed," said Hackensack Mayor, John Labrosse. "Our Fire Department has consistently been awarded the Class 1 ISO distinction for swift emergency responses, and the hardworking men and women of the department are worthy of recognition, and adequate funding to help them continue to keep residents safe.”

Hackensack Fire Department uses Personal Escape System (PES), which needs to be replaced every 10 years, and the HFD is coming to the end of those 10 years. Certain components of the system needed to be replaced.

New Jersey as a whole has received more than $173.4 million in AFG grants since 2001 and more than $250.4 million in SAFER funding since 2006.

"Our community’s safety is our first priority, and this equipment affords us the most up-to-date technology to ensure the safety of both the firefighters and the citizens we serve.”