U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) hosted a federal grant workshop in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Friday for firefighters and EMS at the New Milford Fire Department. He was joined by the Region II Assistance to Firefighters Grant Specialist Brian Thomas from FEMA to talk about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) application process and how to make more competitive proposals.
“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. Thank you to all of those who came out for your service and thank you to Brian Thomas for his presentation,” 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 Hillsdale, 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. ”
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 Hillside and Belvidere Fire Departments totalling more than $350,000.
In March, Gottheimer joined local elected officials and first responders to announce that the Fifth District had clawed back $290 per household from Washington and Moocher States – 16% higher than in previous years – to support local schools, boost storm preparedness and response, and fight crime and terror.
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.
Below: Gottheimer kicks off the AFG workshop talking about the success the District has had in the past two years.