Departments in Tenafly, Saddle Brook to receive federal CARES Act aid to keep firefighters safe

PATERSON, NJ – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded emergency CARES Act grants to the fire departments of Tenafly and Saddle Brook. The funding was provided through the CARES Act Assistance to Firefighters - COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) grant program, which Rep. Pascrell advocated for as the legislation was crafted. The Tenafly Fire Department will receive $14,086.03 in AFG-S funding and the Saddle Brook Fire Department will receive $8,086.29. The federal funds will help the departments procure personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Annual funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) 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. Administered by DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency, the AFG program provides direct support to eligible fire departments to help them meet the demanding and ever-evolving nature of their work.

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"America’s firefighters are risking their lives like never before. These federal awards will help Bergen County’s Bravest continue their noble work of keeping our communities safe both during and after this pandemic,” said Rep. Pascrell, a longtime champion of robust federal support for America’s fire services. “We passed the CARES Act to provide direct support to the American people and to the public services helping us weather this storm. And we included in that legislation an additional $100 million to support firefighters through the AFG program I established. With this AFG award today, the fire departments of Tenafly and Saddle Brook can continue their lifesaving work without delay or lack of resources. As they continue their service to our community, I will continue to push the Senate to pass our HEROES Act to provide even more robust support to our nation’s first responders. New Jersey’s frontline heroes must have every federal dollar needed to help us through this crisis.”

“I want to thank Congressman Pascrell for securing this grant for Saddle Brook,” said Saddle Brook Mayor Robert White. “Our firefighters are working hard, especially during the pandemic. This federal grant will pay dividends for them and we could not be more grateful.”

“Tenafly’s first responders are working harder than ever before. Federal support is essential to their work and I want to thank Congressman Pascrell for bringing this grant home to Tenafly,” said Tenafly Mayor Mark Zinna.

Through his FIRE Act, Rep. Pascrell helps procure hundreds of thousands in federal support for New Jersey firefighters each year. The CARES Act provided $100 million in funding for the AFG program to help fire departments purchase personal protective equipment and supplies.

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. He also helped pass the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act to provide more immediate relief to every state and local government across the United States and needed relief for vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers keeping us safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.