WEST NEW YORK AND BEYOND – “We forget, until there is a tragedy, that these men and women [first responders] risk their lives on a day-to-day basis, running towards the fire as others are fleeing, entering a collapsing building when others are escaping,” U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced at the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue (NHRFR) Headquarters in West New York early Monday morning. “The least we can do to show our appreciation for their selfless courage is to ensure that you have fellow firefighters there on the line with you helping to save lives, helping to save property, and yes, watching your back.”
Menendez and Congressman Albio Sire (D-13), who was also present, joined Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives, local officials, and first responders to announce the award of a $5.5 million federal grant to NHRFR so that they can hire 32 new full-time firefighters.
The grant was awarded through FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant program because of the region’s reputation as being one of the most densely populated and at-risk areas in the country.
“Senator Bob Menendez understands that public safety must be our top priority, which is why he’s lead the charge in Washington to increase funding for our fire departments and our first responders so they have the tools they need to protect our citizens and to perform their jobs,” Weehawken Mayor and NHRFR Chairman Richard Turner said. “We cannot walk away from our obligations to the men and women who put their lives on the line for all of us every day.”
For more information on the grant and the event, read this weekend’s edition of the Hudson Reporter. -- Gennarose Pope