Above: Gottheimer discusses grants with Demarest Fire Chief John McLoughlin and Assistant Chief Richard Motta Jr.
On Tuesday, November 27, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) visited the Demarest Fire Department to see the new equipment that the department purchased with their Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant is a great opportunity to claw back to Jersey more of the federal tax dollars that we send to Washington, so our first responders have the tools they need” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Our state gets pennies back on the dollars that we send to Washington, compared to Moocher States like Mississippi. That’s why I’ve made it a top priority to improve the return on investment we see from our federal tax dollars to help communities like Demarest, Hackensack, and Ringwood get the equipment and resources they need to keep us safe from everything from lone wolf terrorism to fire emergencies. We’ve already clawed back $290 for every household in the Fifth District — a 16% increase from what we’ve historically received to help cut our property taxes and fight back against the Moochers States. ”
“The Demarest Fire Department greatly appreciates all of the continued support from Congressman Gottheimer in obtaining our AFG grant,” said Demarest Fire Chief John McLoughlin. “We were able to purchase new, state of the art, portable radios for all of our members, which ensures our firefighters will be able to communicate in any situation. Working with the other elected officials in Demarest, this grant allows us to continue to provide excellent fire protection to our residents and our firefighters, while saving tens of thousands of local property tax dollars.”
Through AFG grants, North Jersey firehouses can upgrade or purchase new equipment, vehicles, workplace trainings, and other fire prevention activities.
Since Gottheimer took office, fire departments in the Fifth Districts have been awarded more than $1.7 million in AFG grants, an 81% increase from previous years. This includes $750,000 for a new fire truck for the New Milford Fire Department, and the first AFG grants for Hillsdale and Belvidere Fire Departments totaling more than $350,000.
In October, Gottheimer hosted FEMA for a presentation to local elected officials and fire chiefs about the application process for these Assistance to Firefighter Grants and how to make their town or the department’s application as competitive as possible.
As a member of the bipartisan Fire Services Caucus, Gottheimer has been laser-focused on encouraging North Jersey towns to apply for grant programs to return federal tax dollars to North Jersey, including through the AFG grant program. His first public district event after being sworn in was to encourage fire departments to apply for the grant. He has also hosted several return on investment and mayors’ roundtables to provide guidance to local towns on the federal resources available to them and how best to secure these grants. Parties interested in applying for federal grants can learn more on Congressman Gottheimer’s website and are encouraged to contact the office at 201-389-1100.