Mayor Dana L. Redd today praised the announcement that the City of Camden will receive $5,737,746 in a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. The SAFER grant will allow the City to rehire the remaining firefighters that were laid-off last year.
"Thanks to the hard work of Senators Menendez and Lautenberg and Congressman Andrews, we have been able to secure a federal safer grant that will allow us to rehire the remaining 20 laid-off firefighters," Mayor Redd said. "My Administration never quit fighting for any federal or state funds that would either assist us in rehiring public safety personnel or purchasing equipment to aid our police and fire departments. At the end of the day, the safety and well being of our residents will always be our top priority."
"This federal grant will help the City of Camden add firefighters and keep local neighborhoods safe," said Senator Lautenberg, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds the SAFER program. "Public safety is a top priority and we will keep fighting to help ensure the Camden Fire Department is prepared, equipped and staffed to protect Camden families."
"This federal grant is incredibly important for Camden and I am extremely happy that the City will be able to bring 20 trained firefighters back on the job protecting local residents," said Senator Robert Menendez, who has led the fight in the Senate to increase funding for local first responders. "Keeping our communities safe must be our top priority -- especially in tough economic times -- and that's why we worked so hard to ensure Camden has the resources needed to get the job done."
"The City cannot bounce back without a fully staffed fire department to protect the safety and welfare of its residents and businesses," said Congressman Rob Andrews. "This welcomed investment from the federal government will help Camden reach stability by restoring the jobs of those laid off last year without having to drain the City's already overstretched budget."
The SAFER grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the NFPA and OSHA. For more information about the SAFER grant, please visit www.nfpa.org/SAFERActGrant.