WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fort Lee and Little Ferry Fire departments will be receiving nearly $230 thousand dollars to purchase state-of-the-art breathing apparatuses it was announced Monday.
The Congressional Fire Services Caucus announced that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded $229,090 in federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) to the Fort Lee and Little Ferry fire departments. Fort Lee will receive $49K and Little Ferry will receive $180K.
Established through U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell’s (D-NJ-09) FIRE Act, the AFG program provides direct support to eligible fire departments to help them meet the demanding and ever-evolving nature of their work. The grant funds will be used for the purchase of state-of-the-art breathing apparatuses for firefighters in both municipalities.
“We are so thankful to Congressman Pascrell for his assistance in securing this grant, which is a big help to our brave firefighters and our community,” said Little Ferry Mayor Mauro Ragueso. “It’s the first time the Borough has ever received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant award of this magnitude and it comes at the right time because we could now replace the majority of the older safety equipment for our volunteer firefighters. While mostly everyone runs from danger, our firefighters run into it. Therefore we need to give them all tools necessary for their safety and to help protect others.”
"I want our first responders to have every possible resource available to them when they put their lives on the line protecting our community," said Rep. Pascrell. "This grant will help ensure our brave firefighters in Little Ferry and Fort Lee have every advantage to keep themselves and our neighbors safe. I remain committed to fighting for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program so we can continue to bolster public safety here in New Jersey and across our nation."
Other fire departments throughout Bergen County had received grants through the program including $607,658 for the Englewood Fire Department, $67,400 grant for the Lyndhurst Fire Department, and a $272,380 grant for the Leonia Fire Department. Firefighters in Secaucus received a $10,186 grant to provide updated gas monitoring equipment
Pascrell was a main author in the House of Representatives of the SAFER Act, which became law in 2003, and the FIRE (Firefighter Investment Response Enhancement) Act which makes grants to local fire departments. Combined, they have provided billions of dollars in funding for fire departments across the country for staffing, equipment, and training needs.
Congress created these grant programs to help address the significant staffing, equipment, training, and health and safety needs of fire departments across the United States. The SAFER grant program provides funding to cover the costs associated with hiring personnel to maintain safe staffing levels. The FIRE Act, introduced in 1999, was the first comprehensive legislation dedicated to meet the special needs of America's 32,000 volunteer, paid, and part-paid fire departments.