WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) announced a federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) totaling $64,766 for the Plainfield Fire Division. This award announcement follows a strong letter of support from Rep. Watson Coleman to the peer-reviewed AFG program citing the city’s desire to “proactively and adequately address the needs of a growing population.”

“The health and safety of our firefighters is critical as they respond to crisis situations, answer calls for help and, most importantly, save lives,” said Watson Coleman. “The AFG program continues to ensure that our first-responders can best support the residents, businesses and infrastructure of Plainfield and communities nationwide.”

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program awards grants directly to fire departments and emergency services to support their efforts to protect the communities they serve. The Fiscal Year 2016 program will award approximately $310.5 million in competitive grants to first responder organizations across the country to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources required to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

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“This grant will allow us to ensure our equipment is adequate enough to meet our mutual aid responsibilities and, through the purchase of a washer and dryer, keep our firefighters healthy by removing the carcinogens from their turnout gear,” said Plainfield Fire Division Chief Frank Tidwell. “We sincerely appreciate the efforts and support of Congresswoman Watson Coleman and her commitment to the safety and health of all of her constituents.”

Annually, the office of Rep. Watson Coleman collaborates with FEMA representatives to host local seminars for first-responders highlighting the benefits of this grant program and assist with the application process. Past seminars have been held in coordination with Rep. Frank Pallone (NJ-06) and included representatives across the district’s municipalities. More information can be found at www.fema.gov/firegrants/.