U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today announced that the Vineland Fire Company will receive $365,452 in federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to recruit, train and retain firefighters. The funding was awarded from DHS' Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. More than $12.5 million in SAFER funding has been awarded to fire departments in the 2nd Congressional district since 2006.
"This is good news for the Vineland Fire Company who, like so many of our fire and emergency units, has had difficulty recruiting and retaining first responders to keep our communities safe," said LoBiondo, a member of the Congressional Fire Caucus. "I will continue to be a strong advocate for the first responders in our communities, fighting to ensure they have the resources and support needed for which they rightly deserve."
"It was great news to receive word of this SAFER grant. Especially after what we just went through with these storms, staffing is at a premium. We are appreciative of Representative LoBiondo's efforts and support," said Vineland Fire Chief Robert Pagnini.
Similar to the popular Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) which grants federal funding in one-year grants directly to fire departments to support the nation's firefighters, the SAFER program will award approximately $380 million in competitive grants to local fire departments specifically for the recruitment and retention of volunteer and professional firefighters.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Department of Homeland Security administers both programs. For the last ten years, Congressman LoBiondo's office has hosted local seminars for area fire departments to highlight the benefits of these grant programs. More information is available at www.fema.gov/firegrants.