Teaneck will receive $661,000 in federal investment for the Teaneck Fire Department and the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
That’s according to Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Josh Gottheimer who announced that they had procured the funds for the town they share in their Congressional Districts.
“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,” said Gottheimer of the investment.
Aid for First Responders
The AFG program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, provides direct financial investment to first responders. The funds are intended to equip and train emergency personnel.
“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 Pascrell.
Clawing Back Funding for New Jersey
“North Jersey’s firefighters and EMTs (are) 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,” Gottheimer added.
Gottheimer positioned the funding award as a way he was further clawing back funds from Washington DC to make the Garden State more affordable.
“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,” he said.
Working with Democrats
“Working with my colleague Josh Gottheimer and President Joe 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,” said Pascrell.
This the 21st year of the AFG program, which Pascrell created in 2000 through his Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act. With the pandemic straining fire departments, the Paterson lawmaker secured $200 million 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.
Since its inception, the AFG program has awarded $9.25 billion in grants to local fire departments nationally, including $198.5 million in grants to New Jersey fire departments and $21.8 million in grants to fire departments in New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District.