U.S Reps. Frank Pallone (D-6) and Rush Holt (D-12) both announced receipt of the $465,320 federal grant on Wednesday. The township fire department applied for the grant earlier this year through FEMA’s “Assistance to Firefighters Grant” (AFG) program.
The fire department had sought the federal money to replace a number of radios recently made obsolete by new FCC standards according to Pallone and Holt.
The grant was awarded to the township fire department through a competitive process in which applications were evaluated by experts in the fire service, Holt said.
“This funding will make a difference locally by making it safer for local firefighters and first responders to do their job and save lives,” said Pallone of Long Branch.
The FEMA money will ensure that individual firefighters can effectively communicate with each other and enhance public safety, Holt explained.
“The Assistance to Firefighters Grants program provides direct support to fire departments seeking to improve their first responders’ preparedness and ability to protect the health and safety of the public,” said Holt of West Windsor.
“I am always pleased to see local first responders obtain the funding they need to serve our communities, and am glad to see the Middletown Township Fire Department receive this funding,” he added.
“I believe we owe it to our first responders to provide them with the best possible equipment,” Holt wrote. “We can and must do more to ensure that all of our career and volunteer emergency services personnel return home safety at the end of each call.”
As part of FEMA and the federal Department of Homeland Security, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is part of a coordinated effort to improve the nation’s ability to respond to emergency situations.