U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10) today announced that the City of Newark Fire Department will receive a federal grant totaling $3,171,693 to hire 21 new firefighters. The funding is awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.
"Public safety is central to the success of any city and must be a top priority in Newark. This federal funding will help the Newark Fire Department hire new firefighters and ensure a safer, more secure Brick City," said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which funds the SAFER grant program. "Budget shortfalls have taken a toll on the City of Newark and it is critical that families and businesses have peace of mind when it comes to their safety. This is great news for the City of Newark and I look forward to continue working to provide staffing and resources for our local first responders."
"This funding is an absolute good for the City of Newark. It will allow more firefighters to be hired, which will make the City of Newark safer for those who live and work here. More people on the job means safer working conditions for Newark's firefighters who stand at the ready to respond to any emergency," said Senator Menendez. "That is why I have proudly supported the SAFER program, and why Senator Lautenberg and I have annually held workshops to help fire departments -- from those in our state's smallest towns to New Jersey's largest city -- submit their best applications for direct federal aid to hire the firefighters they need."
"I am so pleased to announce this much needed grant for the Newark Fire Department at a time when everyone is looking for ways to cut their budget," said Rep. Payne Jr. "This critical funding will not only help hire back and train twenty-one front line firefighters, but it will ensure that the City of Newark is better protected from crises and disaster. After disasters like Hurricane Sandy, I know all too well the importance of having the appropriate resources to respond in case of emergency, and as a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, it will be my priority to ensure that the 10th District continues to have the necessary tools to keep our communities safe."
In 2011, Sens. Lautenberg and Menendez, Congressman Donald Payne and then-Council President Donald Payne Jr. announced a $7 million SAFER grant for the Newark Fire Department to hire 70 new firefighters.
The highly competitive SAFER grant program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained "front line" firefighters in their communities.