Above: Gottheimer visiting Allendale Fire Department in November 2019.
GLEN ROCK, NJ – On Monday, July 6, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced that first responders in the Fifth District have clawed back more than $135,000 in federal dollars to help fight COVID-19 and help lower property taxes. New federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) investment recipients include the Oradell Fire Department, Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corp., the Borough of Paramus, and the Borough of New Milford. Even more AFG investments are expected to be announced soon.
These grants are specifically from the AFG Supplemental Fund, emergency investment allocated by the bipartisan CARES Act in order to equip and prepare first responders to fight COVID-19. These investments are allowing firehouses and emergency medical services to purchase or receive reimbursements for the cost of equipment needed to fight COVID-19. These items include: masks, isolation gowns, gloves, coveralls, footwear covers, respirators, eye protection, and decontamination equipment and services.
“The Assistance to Firefighters Grant is a great opportunity to claw more of the federal tax dollars that we send to Washington back to Jersey, so our first responders have the tools they need to help our communities through such difficult times,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Historically, our state has received pennies back on the dollars we send to Washington, compared to Moocher States like Mississippi and Alabama. We’ve made great progress in solving that problem, and improving our return on investment continues to be one of my top priorities. We must help communities in the Fifth District get the resources they need to keep them and us safe — and help cut their local property taxes.”
In March, Gottheimer joined a bipartisan letter urging Congressional leadership to ensure that adequate support for America’s first responders is included in further legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic — including increasing investment for emergency Assistance to Firefighter (AFG) grants, increasing investment for emergency Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants, and prioritizing the delivery of PPE resources through the national strategic stockpile.
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 and SAFER grant programs.