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Pascrell Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Lifesaving federal program was created 20 years ago by Pascrell’s FIRE Act

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, today marked the 20th anniversary of the lifesaving Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which was created two decades ago by Rep. Pascrell’s FIRE Act. Since its inception, the AFG program has provided $9.25 billion to fire departments nationwide, including $198,500,000 in grants to New Jersey fire departments and $21,835,514 in grants to fire departments in New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District.

Rep. Pascrell was joined today by U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05), Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association President Ed Donnelly, Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey Vice President of Legislative Affairs Anthony Tarantino, Elmwood Park Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert Bruce, Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott, and scores of firefighters, chiefs and government officials from throughout New Jersey.

“Supporting our nation’s fire services has been my mission since I was first elected to the Congress. In October 2000, President Clinton signed my FIRE Act into law and the AFG program was born. Since then, I’m proud to say this program has awarded over $9 billion to equip and train our local fire departments. This includes $198.5 million to our state and over $21 million for equipment, vehicles, training, and safety programs at fire departments in our Ninth Congressional District,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Integral to the FIRE Act was the late Chief Lou Imparato of the Passaic Fire Department. Simply put, the FIRE Act would not have been possible without Lou’s help in conceiving the bill and bringing all the groups together to push in the same direction. To honor Chief Lou and his legacy, we must continue supporting our nation’s fire heroes at every turn with programs like AFG. America’s firefighters have our backs when we need them most. We must have theirs in return.”

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. Through his FIRE Act, Rep. Pascrell helps procure hundreds of thousands in federal support for northern New Jersey firefighters each year.

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