Governor Phil Murphy announced $10 million in federal funding to help protect firefighters across the Garden State.
During a stop at the Hackensack Fire Department on Monday, the governor said the American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant program will provide departments with grants of up to $75,000 for protection, cleaning and sanitizing.
He said the money will help cover a host of needs ranging from personal protective equipment to chemical-free clothing and gear.
An advantage for property taxpayers
Murphy also noted that funding for layoff businesses across the state will also help taxpayers.
“When you think about it, every dollar we can deploy from state or federal funds is a dollar that stays in the pockets of local property taxpayers,” he said.
He noted that the pandemic has been difficult for New Jersey’s firefighting community, especially companies that rely on volunteers.
“We know the stress you all go through every day, not knowing what you might face on a call, while worrying about the health of your own families,” Murphy said.
Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as the State Department’s commissioner of community affairs, said the program “is going to help provide them with the critical resources they need to ensure their safety and well-being so that they can continue to do their jobs.”
U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer, DN.J. 5th District, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, said, “We are now getting even more federal dollars back to support our local fire departments and first responders, especially for our smaller ones where resources are even stretched harder.”
The grants will prioritize volunteer fire departments, as well as services in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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