Congressman Chris Smith Urges Fire Departments to Apply for SAFER grants
Congressman Chris Smith today urged all fire departments, career and volunteer, to apply for federal SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) grants that are available from FEMA.  The grants are for the recruitment and retention of “front-line” firefighters.  The application period is February 15, 2019 through March 22, 2019 at 5 p.m. ET.

“All eligible career and volunteer fire departments in the Fourth District are encouraged to apply for these Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, which help increase the number of firefighters and first responders to provide our communities with more security,” Smith said. “As we have already seen, this grant program has strengthened our district’s local fire departments and volunteer organizations in the past.”

The SAFER grants—$350 million in total, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—will go to local fire departments and volunteer organizations across the country for recruiting, training, and retaining more “front-line” firefighters to deal with fires and other emergencies in their communities. The SAFER grant applicants are judged on the criteria of hiring, recruitment and retention of firefighters.

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The information necessary to apply for the grants is available here.

Departments that need assistance applying for the grants are encouraged to call Smith District Office at 732-780-3035.

Fire departments in Smith’s district have received SAFER grants in the past, including the Trenton fire department in fiscal years 2010, 2012 and 2014. Those SAFER grants helped the Trenton fire department avoid layoffs for about 60 firefighters. Also, in September of 2017 the Middletown Township Fire Department received a $136,675 SAFER grant to hire more trained firefighters.