FEMA funds to protect Robbinsville firefighters

More federal aid coming to Robbinsville…

August 24, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville firefighters will receive a federal grant to purchase thermal imaging cameras that protect first responders and help them protect the public, said Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) today.

   “This $22,805 grant will help pay for two thermal imaging camera that can provide life-saving information in a smoke and fire-filled environment,” Smith said. “The funding comes from the Operations and Safety grant program, which Congress created to help communities equip their firefighters and EMS.”

   “Our firefighters rush into burning houses and buildings that other people are fleeing from,” stated Smith (NJ-04). “As they go into harm’s way, they need tools to protect their lives in dangerous, potentially deadly conditions. These cameras give firefighters the ability to operate under conditions of poor visibility, including searching for victims, pinpointing the location of the fire, and avoiding obstacles.”

   Eighteen firefighters are employed by the municipality to serve the 20-square-mile township’s estimated 14,000-plus residents. The cameras will replace current older equipment that has become difficult to service.

   The Operations and Safety Grant comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The grant is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

   The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Mayor Fried, Chief Schaffener, and Robbinsville Township Administration released a statement thanking Congressman Smith for assistance and support during the application process. 

   “Without the direct support of our application and the overall program support of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program by Congressman Smith, our department would be faced with difficult realities regarding the safety of our firefighters and residents,” the statement read. “The benefits of this award for our department and local residents is immeasurable.”

   Earlier this summer Robbinsville was awarded an AFG supplemental grant (AFG-S) to buy personnel protective equipment (PPE) to respond to the pandemic and support community resilience. That grant of $14,329 allowed the Robbinsville Township Fire Department to purchase 65 respirators and filters, 45 reusable coveralls and 75 reusable goggles, as well as disposable PPE, including 750 isolation gowns and 3,000 surgical masks.