Jersey City Fire Department Receives $8.8 Million in Federal Funding, a First in its History

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop announces a historic year for the Jersey City Fire Department (JCFD), being awarded three federal grants totaling more than $8.8 million in critical funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expand resources, including personnel and equipment.

“Jersey City has not only seen the highest number of firefighters in decades, but we’ve also worked to rectify a previous problem, which is to ensure that every company is properly and safely staffed every single night,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “With this additional funding, we will continue to grow the department, provide the necessary resources, and keep public safety throughout the City a top priority.”

The three grants Jersey City will receive include:

· $6,693,300 from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant

· $1,129,090.90 from the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) Grant

· $1,000,000 from the Port Security Grant Program (PGSP)

“For the first time in JCFD history, we were selected to receive three grants from DHS in a single year, which will continue to help us reach our ultimate goal of providing the utmost quality protection to our residents while keeping our brave men and women safe,” said Jersey City Fire Department Chief, Steven McGill.

“With these grants, the federal government is acknowledging our growing needs as Jersey City continues to see positive growth; increasing the number of people and structures we are sworn to protect.”

Since 2010, the Department has been awarded over $23.4 million in SAFER grants. The original grants were awarded to the City to retain and hire positions that were lost because the City couldn’t afford to staff its firehouses adequately.

Since then, the SAFER grants have enabled the Fire Department to grow exponentially, from dangerously understaffed a decade ago to now historic employment numbers, with 600 brave men and women currently on the Department.

Now the grant is no longer used to maintain employment levels, but rather to push us ahead with appropriate number of trained firefighters responding to emergencies in one of the most densely populated cities in the nation.

This latest SAFER Grant will allocate funding to staff an additional 54 firefighters over the next three years throughout the City’s 16 firehouses. The grant program provides funding distributed over three years directly to fire departments to assist in efforts to increase the number of firefighters hired.

The ultimate goal is to ensure all communities meet industry standards and attain 24-hour staffing in firehouses to provide adequate protection from fire.

The AFG program designates financial assistance to fire departments to equip and train first responders, helping to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards. Through the AFG funding, the JCFD will be able to purchase four washer-extractors to clean gear; six-vehicle extraction sets including cutters, spreaders, power units and airbags; 20 handheld thermal imagining cameras; and 170 mobile radios to ensure firefighters can easily communicate.

The Port Security Grant Program will provide the necessary funding for JCFD to upkeep and perform maintenance on the fire boats. PSGP plays an important role in the implementation of the National Preparedness System by supporting the building, sustainment and delivery of core capabilities essential to achieving the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation.