NEW JERSEY – Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco that would allow New Jersey towns to increase funding for volunteer first aid and rescue squads was approved by the New Jersey Senate.
“As a 40 + year member and former captain of the Salvage and Rescue Company of the Boonton Volunteer Fire Department, I am well aware of the shoestring budgets that volunteer first aid and rescue squads struggle with each year,” said Bucco (R-25). “These organizations are essential assets for our communities, especially in suburban and rural areas. Unfortunately, many squads continue to experience a shortage of basic first aid equipment, and some cannot even maintain their ambulances. My legislation will help alleviate these issues by allowing towns and counties to increase the annual funding for these life-saving services so that they can properly protect the people they are sworn to serve in their communities.”
The bill, S-399, would increase the maximum amount that a county or municipality may annually contribute to a volunteer first aid, ambulance, or rescue company.
Currently, the maximum is $70,000 annually and, if any company experiences extraordinary need, an additional $35,000 may be given. Bucco’s legislation will increase these amounts to $125,000 and $70,000 respectively.
“Thousands of dedicated EMTs and rescue specialists across this state put the needs of their neighbors above their own,” Bucco said. “It’s time to give them the funding they deserve.”