Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell National FIRE Grant Delivers Over 1.2 Million for 8th District Fire Departments

Feb 25, 2003
Press Release

Congressman authored bill, which has provided $460 million to fire
 departmentsnationwide since 2001 and will provide $750 million in 2003

WASHINGTON - Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8th) today lauded the success of his Firefighter Investment Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act, which has brought home over $1.2 million to 8th district fire departments.

This is the second year that fire departments across America have received grants under FEMA's Assistance to Firefighters Program, which was directly created by Pascrell's FIRE Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 2000.  The program has distributed $460 million to fire departments nationwide since the inception of the program in 2001.  In fiscal year 2003, the program will distribute $750 million.

"The FIRE Act was written right here in the Eighth District specifically to help communities such as Little Falls support their first responders," Pascrell said.  "For too long, the federal government turned a deaf ear to the pressing needs of fire departments.  These grant demonstrates that through the FIRE Act, we have changed that shortsighted policy. These dollars make a huge impact."

"No longer will towns have to rely solely on raising property taxes and holding bake sales to support our fire departments.  Thanks to this federal grant program, those days are over.  The federal government is now a full partner with local firefighters and the taxpayers they protect everyday."

Pascrell's "FIRE Act," introduced in March of 1999, is the first comprehensive national legislation dedicated to meet the special needs of America's 32,000 volunteer, paid and part-paid fire departments. More than 19,500 applications were received by FEMA in the second year of the program, with requests totaling approximately $2.2 billion.

Working with the major fire service organizations, FEMA crafted a program implementation framework that placed eligible grant activities into four program areas.  Fire departments could apply for eligible activities in one of four different programs:

  1. Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety (eligible activities include: Training, Wellness and Fitness, Firefighting Equipment, and Personal Protective Equipment).
  2. Fire Prevention (eligible activities include: Public Education, Public Awareness, Code Enforcement, and Arson Prevention).
  3. Emergency Medical Services (eligible activities include: Training and Equipment).
  4. Firefighting Vehicles.

The maximum amount an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year. As part of the application, applicants had to demonstrate financial need and articulate the benefits to be derived from the grant funds.  Funding priorities for each of the activities were established utilizing recommendations from each of the nine major national fire service organizations.
America's 32,000 paid, volunteer, and part-paid departments are all eligible for the grants under the program.

Grant funding to 8th district municipalities through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program, 2001-2002:

Township of Belleville: $40,770.00
Township of Bloomfield: $75,496.00
City of Clifton:  $183,982.00
Township of Little Falls: $232.929.00
Township of Montclair: $91,727.00
City of Passaic:  $195,811.00
City of Paterson:  $362,264.00
Township of Verona:  $12,078.00
Township of Wayne:  $29,000.00
Township of West Orange: $28,143.00
Total    $1,252,200.00