Trenton, NJ- On the day that President Barack Obama visited the area, Assemblyman John F. McKeon welcomed news of $1.8 million in federal funding to hire West Orange firefighters through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) program for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER).

West Orange is part of New Jersey's Legislative District 27 that McKeon represents, along with Senator Richard J. Codey and Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey (all Essex\Morris).

Sign Up for E-News

Today, Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced more than $2.8 million in federal funding for the Hoboken and West Orange Fire Departments. Hoboken received $1,118,600 to hire new firefighters and West Orange was granted $1,755,610.

Lautenberg serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds the SAFER program.

“The state's sharp budget cuts have forced many towns and municipalities to lay off police and firefighters. Our brave first responders help keep communities safe and save lives by responding on a timely basis to local emergencies, often putting themselves in harm's way. The new federal funding will help West Orange hire more firefighters, including those who may have lost their jobs because of budget cuts," McKeon (D-Essex\Morris) said.

"I thank Senators Lautenberg and Menendez for continuing to fight for New Jersey's share of federal grants and assistance, including funding our state's fire departments," he added.

A West Orange native, McKeon served as a municipal official in the town for more than 18 years, and was mayor for twelve.