PATERSON-- U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), the author of the Firefighter Investment Response Enhancement (FIRE) grant program today announced two FIRE grant awards for Eighth Congressional District municipalities. In the latest round of funding, the Bloomfield Fire Department has been awarded $302,198 to invest in a new vehicle, while Little Falls Township has been awarded $115,425 to strengthen its emergency power supply.
“During these difficult economic times, it is especially critical that firefighters receive help from the federal government. The FIRE Act was written right here in the Eighth Congressional District, to help local New Jersey communities support their first responders. I am pleased that the Departments in Bloomfield and Little Falls have remained active in pursuing these grants and have demonstrated such great success in securing them,” stated Pascrell.
This funding marks the third FIRE grant awarded to Bloomfield for a total of $712,827 since the program funding began in 2002. It will be used specifically to invest in a new rescue truck. Bloomfield was also awarded a federal $329,500 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant in 2006.
This latest round of funding also marks the third FIRE grant awarded to Little Falls since 2002 for a total of $525,774. Little Falls will use the grant to invest in emergency power generators in three stations.
Fire departments across America have received grants under the FIRE grant program (aka the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program), which was directly created by Pascrell’s FIRE Act in 2000. The FIRE Act, first introduced in March of 1999, is the first comprehensive national legislation dedicated to meet the special needs of America’s 32,000 volunteer, paid and part-paid fire departments. With broad bipartisan support, Pascrell’s program has grown from $100 million in fiscal year 2001 to $490 million this year.
Pascrell added, “As a former mayor, I know that every dime of grant funding from the federal government provides important relief to the local taxpayers who sustain essential public safety operations like fire departments. During this economic downturn, federal assistance is a particularly worthy way to ease the local tax burden.”
The FIRE grant program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
As part of the FIRE grant application, applicants must demonstrate financial need and articulate the benefits to be derived from potential grant funds.
Funding priorities for the grant program were established utilizing recommendations from each of the nine major national fire service organizations.
For more current information regarding the FIRE Grant (Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program), visit www.usfa.fema.gov.