Gov. Phil Murphy has announced $10 million in federal funding is going to help protect firefighters across the Garden State.

During a stop at the Hackensack Fire Department on Monday, the governor said the American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant program will provide departments grants of up to $75,000 for protection, cleaning and sanitization.

He said the money will help to cover a host of needs ranging from personal protective equipment to chemical-free clothing and gear.

A benefit for property taxpayers

Murphy also noted the funding going to fire companies across the state will also help taxpayers.

“When you think about it every dollar that we can deploy from either state or federal funds is a dollar that stays in the pockets of local property taxpayers,” he said.

He noted the pandemic was hard on New Jersey’s firefighting community, especially companies that rely on volunteers.

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“We know the stress that all of you were under each and every day, not knowing what you might be up against on a call, while simultaneously worrying about the health of your own families,” Murphy said.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs, said the program “is going to help provide them with the essential resources they need to ensure their safety and well-being so they can continue to do their jobs.”

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, said “we're now clawing back even more federal dollars to support our local fire departments and first responders, particularly for our smaller ones where resources are even more stretched."

Grant awards will prioritize volunteer fire departments, as well as departments in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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