The city received $289,450 in federal grant funds to support purchase of equipment, training, emergency vehicles, and other firefighting, prevention activities, announced Rep. Bill Pascrell on Wednesday.
Funds were awarded through the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG), a program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“The brave men and women of the Paterson Fire Department put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe,” Pascrell said. “Our fire professionals always need ample resources to do their duty, and this federal investment will continue to provide Paterson’s Bravest with the tools they need to be prepared for any emergency.”
Pascrell praised the city’s firefighters for their response to the Straight and Narrow building fire over the weekend. “While the destruction is unquestionably tragic, not a single life was lost thanks to the rapid response and execution by Paterson firefighters,” he said.
Funds will allow the fire department to support a cancer prevention initiative.
“Cancer prevention for firefighters is at the forefront of this grant award,” fire chief Brian McDermott said. “Putting source capture devices at the inception of carcinogen production, fire apparatus diesel exhaust pipes will ensure a more health friendly atmosphere in which to work and for the community to gather. It will also achieve compliance with laws and standards associated with reducing carbon emissions with fire stations. No longer will the walls be covered in diesel dust putting firefighters at further risk of reduced life span.”
McDermott thanked the congressman for supporting the fire department.
“Congressman Pascrell has always been an advocate for our firefighters and this award supports their hard work,” mayor Andre Sayegh said. “Paterson firefighters have proven to be brave and selfless heroes as we have seen countless times and this funding for equipment will ensure Patersonians continue to benefit from this bravery.”
Pascrell championed the Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act which was signed into law by president Bill Clinton in 2000. He said the grant award was made possible by that law.