PATERSON, NJ - Paterson Fire Headquarters was built with federal dollars secured by Congressman Bill Pascrell, and, following a unanimous vote of approval by the Paterson City Council Tuesday, that building will soon bear his name.
For Pascrell, the lifelong Paterson resident who was elected to the city’s top position following the 1990 death of the iconic Frank Graves, and has served as its representative in the nation’s capital since 1997, his vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which included $210 Million in Firehouse Construction Grants, and $4.5 million for the construction of the McBride Avenue building, wasn’t his first, or last, instance of scoring big for Paterson’s Bravest.
From his earliest days in Congress Pascrell proved to be an advocate for firefighters across the nation, first authoring and introducing the FIRE Act in 1998, a groundbreaking piece of legislation authorizing federal support for the fire services to purchase equipment, provide training and hire personnel.
Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000, Pascrell’s work led to the creation of the Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program, and just three years later the passage of the SAFER Act, helping maintain safe staffing levels, subsequently signed into law by President Bush. Combined, these programs have allocated more than $12.5 billion to local fire departments, including more than $29 million for Paterson.
Saying he was proud to be Pascrell’s protege, and referring to him as a “mentor, role model, and hero to so many that have chosen a career in public service,” Mayor Andre Sayegh told TAPinto Paterson that “no person has given more for Paterson than he has.”
“Renaming Paterson Fire Headquarters in his honor is a tribute he has earned many times over.”
"As a resident of Paterson, New Jersey for my entire life, I have always been in awe of our firefighters. Their every day heroism is what has inspired me to try to help fire departments in every community in our great nation," Pascrell, who also serves as a co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, said. "A top priority for me has been getting every dollar and every resource into the hands of firefighters. My view has always been that they run into danger to save us every day, so the least we can do is make sure they're protected too. It has been my continued honor to stand with them at all times."
“By nature and necessity firefighters stand shoulder to shoulder fighting to get the job done; looking out for each other and giving all we have in order to protect the residents we serve,” Kyle Hughes, President of FMBA Local 2 said. “Congressman Bill Pascrell has spent his time in Washington rolling up his sleeves and fighting in a similar way to make sure we can have the manpower and tools we need to get our job done.”
“There is no doubt that his leadership, advocacy, and tenacity on behalf of firefighters has saved countless lives, not just in Paterson, but in communities across the country.”
Hundreds of well wishers, including lawmakers and firefighters from across New Jersey and beyond are expected to descend on Paterson for the June 24 ceremony.
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