Federal Grant To Provide Firefighter Training Equipment
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 • 3:26pm
PATERSON, NJ – The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Paterson a $177,868 grant to buy equipment to train firefighters to safety operate fire trucks and ambulances on city streets.
The grant, announced by Rep. Bill Pascrell on Wednesday, comes under the new federal FIRE Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).
Paterson Fire Chief Michael Postorino, who leads a department of 330 professional firefighters, said in a press release that the grant was especially appreciated during the tough economic times that have put constraints on municipal budgets.
“This is a much needed grant; we’re not in a position to afford this on our own in the current financial state the city is in," Postorino said of the new equipment. "This grant will allow us to purchase a driving simulator that will train firefighters to safely operate both fire engines and ambulances through the streets of Paterson."
“Ensuring the safety of Paterson residents against the dangers of fire starts with providing the community’s firefighters with the equipment they need,’’ said Pascrell in a press release. “This grant will ensure that these brave professionals have every advantage available to keep the risk of loss of life and property damage at an absolute minimum. The FIRE Act was written here in Northern New Jersey with the purpose of helping communities support their first responders and bolster public safety.”
Pascrell’s press release said that this was the seventh AFG grant to be awarded to the Paterson Fire Department, making a total of more than $1.4 million awarded to the department since 2001. Rep. Pascrell also secured a massive Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant of $6.4 million in 2005 that allowed the department to hire 53 firefighters.