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Pascrell Announces $455K Award
To Clifton Fire Department

By on August 21, 2018

Federal homeland security grant will fund the hiring of more firefighters

ATERSON, NJ – Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), the co-chair of the House Fire Services Caucus, recently announced that the Clifton Fire Department has been awarded a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for $455,792. It will be used to bolster Clifton’s firefighting efforts by adding four new firefighters to the department.

“We wrote the SAFER Act for precisely this reason: to aid our cities and towns as they face continually challenging budget cuts. This award, and others, is pivotal to making sure that our communities can retain and expand their fire services,” Rep. Pascrell said. “Ensuring our fire heroes have adequate staffing has a direct correlation to their response times. In their line of work, where every moment in a fire emergency can mean the difference between life or death, these grants quite literally save lives, so this is a big deal for Clifton.”

“Our sincerest thanks to Congressman Pascrell for his work in securing this federal grant for our fire department,” saidClifton Mayor James Anzaldi. “This money will be used to maintain public safety by adding four new firefighters to the Clifton Fire Department.”

The City of Clifton and the Clifton Fire Department want to thank Congressman Pascrell for his continuing support of the fire service, it is truly appreciated,” said Clifton Fire Chief Kevin McCarthy. “This grant money will go a long way towards making sure that the Clifton Fire Department has the resources they need to best serve the community. This will allow the City of Clifton to provide more effective services, enhance firefighter safety, and will increase our overall emergency response capabilities. The funding will provide for the hiring of four (4) new firefighter positions. This will provide the Clifton Fire Department will the highest staffing level in 25 years.”

Rep. Pascrell was a main author in the House of Representatives of the SAFER Act, which became law in 2003, and the FIRE (Firefighter Investment Response Enhancement) Act which makes grants to local fire departments. Combined, they have provided billions of dollars in funding for fire departments across the country for staffing, equipment, and training needs.

Between FY 2011 and 2014, the Clifton Fire Department has received just under $3.9M through the Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) and SAFER programs, which it has used to strengthen services and personnel. In the omnibus government spending bill passed by Congress in March 2018, Pascrell fought for the SAFER program, hailing the $350 million in the law set aside for the SAFER grants program, as well as a waiver that will make it easier for communities in New Jersey and elsewhere to retain firefighters.

Background on AFG and SAFER Grant programs

Congress created these grant programs to help address the significant staffing, equipment, training, and health and safety needs of fire departments across the United States. The SAFER grant program provides funding to cover the costs associated with hiring personnel to maintain safe staffing levels. When Rep. Pascrell first introduced the FIRE Act in 1999, it was the first comprehensive legislation dedicated to meet the special needs of America’s 32,000 volunteer, paid and part-paid fire departments.