U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (D-NJ), joined by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, announced an $8.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant that will allow the local fire department to retain 45 firefighters and hire and additional 16.
Fulop led off the event by stating that the multi-million grant was the largest in Jersey City history.
“Today’s announcement is the largest SAFER grant that Jersey City has ever received and it’s gonna certainly bolster our fire department well into the future,” the mayor, an expected gubernatorial candidate for next year’s election, said at the podium in front of the Firefighters Memorial Fire Station on Marin Boulevard.
Menendez then stated that the grant will allow 45 firefighters to retain their jobs, enabling another 16 to be hired and bringing the Jersey City Fire Department’s grant total to $23 million since 2005.
The senior Senator added that Jersey City first responders’ efforts during 9/11 should never be forgotten.
“Let’s not forget that on September 11 of 2001, 37 Jersey City residents lost their lives and the Jersey City waterfront became a major staging area for staging and relief efforts. Jersey City firefighters, doctors, nurses, medical technicians, police officers were among the first to go to Ground Zero,” reflected Menendez.
” … The Jersey City Fire Department stood up when the towers fell and today, with this federal grant, we’re standing up for them.”
Booker followed Menendez’s lead in praising the efforts of Jersey City officials, particularly about making their grant application stand out among hundreds of others.
“I’m really proud of Jersey City: we’ve seen this city be tested time and time again. We saw within just hundreds and hundreds of feet across the river when crises happened, we saw how this city mobilized, we saw how this city responded,” recalled Booker.
After the press conference concluded, Fulop expressed his satisfaction with the city obtaining the SAFER grant, as well as reflecting on the upcoming 15 year anniversary of 9/11.