TEANECK, N.J. — Today, July 12, 2022, the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (NJ FMBA) endorsed U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) for reelection. The FMBA represents more than 5,500 active firefighters, EMTs, and dispatchers across the state of New Jersey. At the event, Gottheimer was joined by local firefighters from the Teaneck Fire Department and NJ FMBA President Eddie Donnelly, who touted Gottheimer’s leadership and strong bipartisan record of partnering with first responders, towns, mayors to ensure North Jersey’s firefighters have the resources they need to protect themselves and our communities.
Since Gottheimer took office, the Fifth District has clawed back more than $5.3 million in Assistance to Firefighters Grants. These are dollars that go to protecting our security for New Jersey, to help lower property taxes, instead of going to Moocher States. Gottheimer has also worked with town, county, and state officials to take steps toward ensuring New Jersey first responders have all of the information they need about hazardous and harmful materials traveling through towns’ rails.
“When I first ran for Congress, I promised to fight to ensure that our firefighters and all our first responders had the training, resources, and support they needed to protect themselves and their communities. Since being sworn in, I’ve worked every day to fulfill that promise and support those who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. “I am thrilled to report that, through working with local fire departments, police departments, and towns to apply for and win federal grants, we’ve clawed back more than $5.3 million in Assistance to Firefighters Grants. But the work is not done.” Gottheimer continued, “As I said from moment one, we must always get the backs of our first responders. It is an enormous honor to have the support of Jersey’s bravest. I’m grateful to President Donnelly and the 5,500 members of the FMBA. I will work to continue the fight for Jersey firefighters and Jersey families.” “On behalf of our more than 5,500 members, we are proud to endorse Josh for reelection to Congress. In his time in Congress, Josh always gets our backs. That’s what he promised when he first ran, and his record shows that he’s always delivered for New Jersey’s bravest. He has been a fierce champion for New Jersey’s first responders. Josh has fought to bring real dollars back from Washington for our firefighters, EMT’s and dispatchers for manpower, training, and equipment. More than dollars and cents, Josh has fought for the safety of our men and women who run towards danger to protect New Jersey families,” said NJ FMBA President Eddie Donnelly. “The NJ FMBA thanks Congressman Gottheimer. ”
In Congress, Gottheimer serves as a member of the bipartisan Congressional Fire Services Caucus and the bipartisan Law Enforcement Caucus. He co-sponsored the bipartisan Firefighter Cancer Registry Act; fought to delay the “Cadillac Tax,” which threatened the healthcare of firefighters and others in high-risk professions; and secured millions of dollars in federal tax money to support firefighters and first responders. He fought to pass the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, and increased funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants – or AFG – program, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, known as the SAFER program, the 1033 surplus program, and other initiatives to make sure our towns and fire departments have what they need to protect our citizens.
Among the highlights, Gottheimer’s work helping towns and fire departments secure Assistance to Firefighters Grants include $750,000 for New Milford for a new ladder truck; the town of Belvidere, in Warren County, clawed back nearly $150,000 for SCBAs; $510,000 for Hackensack, Englewood, and Teaneck Fire Departments for rapid intervention training; $45,000 for Teaneck for a washer extractor and dryer to decontaminate firefighter gear and help prevent cancer; and hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars clawed back during the pandemic for Personal Protective Equipment for local fire departments. Gottheimer has helped claw back nearly $290,000 in federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants for Teaneck, including for a new emergency vehicle.
Gottheimer also helped claw federal investment back from Washington to New Jersey firefighters through the new American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program. The program claws back $10 million in federal dollars back from Washington for New Jersey fire departments, awards up to $75,000 to eligible local and regional fire departments in New Jersey to purchase equipment including oxygen packs, PPE, protective clothing and turnout gear, and cleaning and sanitizing equipment. It also claws back resources for our local fire departments, particularly for smaller departments where resources are limited and help fire departments with limited operating budgets and large numbers of volunteers. These resources will not only keep our communities, families, and brave first responders safe, but it will also help lower our property taxes and make life more affordable for North Jersey residents.