WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that the Trenton Fire Department will receive more than $14.9 million in federal funding to hire and retain firefighters. The funding, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, will allow the department to avoid significant layoffs. “Protecting New Jersey communities is our first priority, and this federal funding will help ensure that Trenton has the firefighters it needs to keep families safe,” said Lautenberg, the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the SAFER program. “First responders risk their lives to protect our communities, and I will continue working to provide local fire departments with the federal resources they need.” “Keeping firefighters on the job and off the unemployment line is what the SAFER program is all about. And in Camden, this SAFER funding will help avoid layoffs and keep entire companies from closing,” said Senator Menendez. “I am proud to have fought to keep the SAFER program from being eliminated in the U.S. Congress, and greatly appreciate these federal resources being awarded to help keep Camden residents and properties safe.” As Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Lautenberg has worked to provide sufficient funding for the SAFER program. The SAFER grant program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained “front line” firefighters in their communities. In October, Senators Lautenberg and Menendez wrote a letter to FEMA in support of the City of Trenton’s application for SAFER funding. The Senators wrote: “Trenton’s emergency responders are responsible for the City’s 85,000 residents, and an additional working population of over 50,000 state and federal employees. Federal funding is essential for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to retain and hire the necessary number of firefighters to ensure more efficient and reliable services for their residents and the surrounding communities. Without the retention and hiring awards, the loss of manpower will force the closing offour companies: the rescue company, two engine companies and one ladder company.” ###
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