TEANECK, NJ -  The Teaneck Fire Department celebrated receiving a $45,000 federal grant for equipment to decontaminate firefighters' gear and help prevent cancer on Monday. 

U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) helped win the investment for the Teaneck Fire Department. They were joined at the Teaneck Fire Department Headquarters by Bob Allen of the New Jersey Firefighters’ Mutual Benevolent Association (FMBA), Teaneck FMBA 242 President Brian Taylor, Teaneck FMBA 42 President Steven Van Mater, Teaneck Fire Chief Jordan Zaretsky, Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci, and Teaneck firefighters.

"These two Congressmen know that keeping Americans safe is a number one priority," said Bob Allen, NJ FMBA. "Pascrell has always been the number one champion of first responders throughout the country."

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Steven Van Mater, FMBA Local 42 President, also thanked Pascrell and Gottheimer "for their continued support to the fire fighters of New Jersey," saying the "awards are beneficial to keeping departments like Teaneck moving forward." He also thanked members of TFD for assistance in application process.

“This federal investment is game-changer for Teaneck’s Bravest in their work to keep our community protected,” said Congressman Pascrell, co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “This generous award will be used to decontaminate our firefighters’ gear of hazardous chemicals and pathogens and will help prevent against incidences of cancer. The federal government is providing these generous resources and not shifting the burden onto Teaneck and Bergen County – as it should be. With our firefighters watching over us every day, we’re watching out for them in Washington and fighting for every dollar they need.”

In 2018, Rep. Pascrell celebrated the signing into law of his Firefighter Cancer Registry Act (H.R. 931), which established a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with the deadly disease. Rep. Pascrell and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) first announced introduction of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act in May 2016 during a news conference at Clifton Fire Station 5, where they were joined by dozens of firefighters, including retired Haddon Heights Fire Chief Gene Dannenfelster, who has since lost his battle with cancer. H.R.931 was introduced in the 115th Congress on February 17, 2017.

Administered by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this federal award is part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which provides direct financial investment to eligible fire departments to equip and train emergency personnel for the demanding and ever-evolving nature of their work.

The federal investment has provided Teaneck’s firefighters with a Personal Protective Equipment Washer Extractor and Drying Cabinet to help protect them from hazardous chemicals, blood-born pathogens, carcinogens, and other contaminants that they may encounter in the line of duty. Multiple studies show high rates of cancer in firefighters due to contaminants left behind on their gear from burning materials and smoke. The Teaneck Fire Department’s new equipment, won through the AFG program, has been ranked in the top five best practices to help prevent cancer in firefighters.

 

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