NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday visited Paramus Fire Company 3 to highlight his proposed addition of $10 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for Fiscal Year 2024 to support the continuation of the Firefighter Grant Program, which first launched in May 2022.
The ARP Firefighter Grant Program provides funding to local and regional fire departments across New Jersey to ensure firefighters have proper protective, cleaning, and sanitization equipment.
“The firefighters of our state provide an essential service and they deserve to do so with the best equipment the market has to offer. That is why I was pleased to announce an additional $10 million dollars towards the American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program in my proposed budget,” Murphy said. “Our first responders risk their lives daily to make sure our communities are safe and healthy, and this Administration will continue to prioritize their needs to keep them safe while they do their jobs.”
During last year’s round of funding, the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) awarded a total of 293 fire departments up to $56,000 to cover the costs of much needed equipment, including:
- protective clothing (turnout clothing ensembles, pants, garments, helmets, hoods, gloves, footwear, etc.);
- cleaning and advanced cleaning equipment;
- oxygen equipment;
- personal protective equipment (PPE); and
- other fire/virus protection equipment as determined to be appropriate by DLGS.
Grant awards were prioritized towards volunteer fire departments, like Paramus Fire Company 3, as well as departments in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
If included in the final budget approved by the Legislature, the grant program would once again be administered by the Department of Community Affairs.
“The Firefighter Grant Program is meeting a huge need for fire departments across the state, which is why Governor Murphy and I are continuing this important program,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “We see that sometimes fire departments can’t replace equipment such as self-contained breathing apparatus facemasks, respirators, protective hoods, and turnout gear like helmets, jackets, boots, and gloves when they should because they don’t have the funding necessary. This program is making a measurable difference in getting our firefighters the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively in emergency situations.”
“When it comes to protecting all of our first responders, whether that’s firefighters, law enforcement, or EMTs, we know that we have to invest to protect. That’s why we are here today, standing together. We need to reinvest in our American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program for Jersey — for our local fire departments to purchase the gear and equipment they need,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “These are dollars that don’t have to come out of town budgets. These are our tax dollars that are actually coming back from the federal government to help our families and communities here in Jersey – and not going to the Moocher States.”
“As we gather here today to support this much needed grant, our very own legislative chairman Bobby Allen Paterson FMBA local 2 is undergoing a 10 hour surgery as he continues his battle against Cancer. This disease is a real concern for Firefighters across our Country and on behalf of our over 6000 members I say thank you to our Governor for standing shoulder to shoulder with us as battle against cancer,” said Edwin Donnelly, President NJ FMBA.
“The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey are honored to stand with the governor to announce the reauthorization of the 10 million dollar Firefighter grant. PFANJ firefighters across this state run into harms way everyday, this funding allows departments to purchase the equipment we need to effectively do our jobs,” said Steve McConlogue. President Professional Firefighters Association of
New Jersey, IAFF, AFL-CIO.
“The NJ State Firefighters Association applauds Governor Murphy for his continued commitment to the health and safety of our volunteer and career firefighters through his Adminstration’s Amercian Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program,” said NJ State Firefighter’s Association President Robert Ordway. “As first responders, our 54,000 members are committed to protecting New Jersey’s residents and property when called upon. We stand proudly with the Governor and his team as he protects the health and safety of our firefighters through his proposed investment of an additonal $10 million to ensure fire departments are able to procure essential protective and sanitization equipment.”