Pascrell, Gottheimer Announce $661K for Teaneck First Responders
Sizable federal grants will support Teaneck firefighters, EMS
North Jersey, September 9, 2022
Tags: Public Safety
U.S. Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05) announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded $661,595.18 to the Teaneck Fire Department and the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The $437,277 for Teaneck FD and $224,318.18 for the Ambulance Corps were awarded under Congressman Pascrell’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, which he created in 2000 through his Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act,
“Our nation’s first responders are putting their lives on the line like never before. This federal investment in North Jersey’s safety will help our first responders continue their vital work of keeping our communities safe,” said Congressman Pascrell, co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “Working with my colleague Josh Gottheimer and President Biden, I am more confident than ever that these grants will continue to flow into our cities and towns here in the Garden State. I am proud that we were able to bring this federal money home for our community, and I will continue to fight for every cent that supports New Jersey’s first responders.”
“This federal investment from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant is a great opportunity to help lower our property taxes, to make life more affordable and safer, and to improve our community. North Jersey’s firefighters and EMTs have our backs every day, running into fires and emergencies and saving lives. By clawing more of the federal tax dollars that we send to Washington back to Jersey, we’re ensuring that our first responders have the tools they need to stay safe and keep our communities safe,” said Congressman Gottheimer, a member of the bipartisan Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “Historically, our state has received pennies back on the dollars we send to Washington, compared to Moocher States like Mississippi and Alabama. But by actively applying for more federal grants, we’ve made great progress in solving that problem. Now, working with Congressman Bill Pascrell and our local leaders, these vital resources will help lower the property tax burden on our residents, support the Teaneck community, and keep our first responders safe.”
Rep. Pascrell is a longtime champion of public safety funding in the Congress. Annual funding for the 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. Through his FIRE Act, Rep. Pascrell has helped procure millions in federal support for New Jersey firefighters each year for investments in lifesaving equipment and resources, personal protective equipment, training, and mental health support.
With the pandemic straining fire departments, Rep. Pascrell secured $200,000,000 in emergency funding for Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency Response (SAFER) grants to assist with hiring and employee retention and $100,000,000 in emergency funding for AFG in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Last year, Rep. Pascrell joined union leaders, firefighters, and public officials to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the AFG program at the Bill Pascrell, Jr. Fire Department in Paterson, NJ. The Paterson Fire Department was constructed with the help of a $4.5 million AFG Fire Station Construction Grant secured by Rep. Pascrell in 2010. Rep. Pascrell leads the Fire Station Construction Grants Act (H.R. 3728) to invest an additional $1 billion in construction and restoration grants for America’s fire departments. Since its inception, the AFG program has awarded $9.25 billion in grants to local fire departments nationally, 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 has also worked tirelessly to support strong federal death and disability benefits for firefighters and first responders. Rep. Pascrell joined President Joe Biden at the White House last November for the signing into law of his Protecting America’s First Responders Act (Public Law 117-61) to make significant improvements to the Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) program.