U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today announced that the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company #1 will receive $108,830 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 certainly welcome news for the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Company #1 who is not only stretched so thin in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but has had the same challenges of other fire and emergency units in recruiting and retaining first responders," 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 deserve."
"It is fantastic to receive this type of call from Congressman LoBiondo's office," said Beach Haven Mayor Robert Keeler. "Good news after Hurricane Sandy is slow coming. This is very positive for the community of Beach Haven and our fire company, who serve so many on the island."
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 $320 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.