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Pascrell Announces $7K in Emergency Coronavirus Response Grants for Bergen County Firefighters

Fire departments in Rutherford, Leonia set to receive federal CARES Act awards to keep firefighters safe

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded two emergency CARES Act grants to the fire departments of Rutherford and Leonia. The funding was provided through the CARES Act Assistance to Firefighters - COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) grant program, which Rep. Pascrell advocated for as the legislation was crafted. The Rutherford Fire Department is set to receive $4,782.86 in AFG-S funds while the Leonia Fire Department will receive $2,873.81.

Annual funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program is provided by Rep. Pascrell’s Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act, which was signed into law in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. Administered by DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency, the AFG program provides direct support to eligible fire departments to help them meet the demanding and ever-evolving nature of their work.

"Our communities’ firefighters are putting their lives on the line like never before. This federal support to Rutherford and Leonia will provide needed support to help keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Pascrell, a longtime champion of robust federal support for America’s fire services. “House Democrats passed the CARES Act to help the American people and bolster vital public services we rely upon. That support included an additional $100 million in federal funding for our nation’s fire departments through the AFG program I helped create. And we didn’t stop there. We have since passed the HEROES Act to provide even more resources for first responders and communities because of the economic fallout from this crisis. Our nation’s firefighters are on the frontlines of this battle and we must have their backs. I will continue to work with federal agencies to ensure North Jersey’s firefighters have every dollar they need to weather this crisis. And I will continue to push my Senate colleagues to pass the HEROES Act with the urgency it deserves.”

Through his FIRE Act, Rep. Pascrell helps procure hundreds of thousands in federal support for New Jersey firefighters each year. The CARES Act provided $100 million in funding for the AFG program to help fire departments purchase personal protective equipment and supplies.

Since the outset of the pandemic, Rep. Pascrell has worked to secure millions in emergency federal funding to aid New Jersey in its fight against the virus. He also helped pass the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act to provide more immediate relief to every state and local government across the United States and needed relief for vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers keeping us safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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