Robbinsville Twp. Fire Department awarded $1.35M federal grant to hire four new full-time firefighters

Fed. funds will help fire dept. expand emergency response services for growing town

September 9, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department will receive a federal grant totaling $1,349,440 from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program to hire four new full-time firefighters, said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) today.

            “The firefighters and first responders at the Robbinsville Township Fire Department put their lives on the line every day to protect their neighbors when emergencies strike and help ensure overall safety and well-being,” said Rep. Smith, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “This substantial federal grant will enable the town to expand its fire crew and to continue providing quick and effective emergency response services to those in harm’s way who need immediate help as the Robbinsville community continues to grow.”

            “Mayor Fried, Fire Chief Schaffener and all those serving at the Robbinsville Township Fire Department are to be congratulated for their steadfast commitment to the town and their tenacity in applying for and earning this significant federal grant,” Smith said.

            Supported by Smith, the Robbinsville Township Fire Department applied for the SAFER grant earlier this year, competing against thousands of other fire departments around the country seeking federal assistance to expand and improve their life-saving operations.

            “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,” said Robbinsville Fire Chief Dan Schaffener. “The addition of four firefighters will provide an enhanced level of staffing to our growing community, while reducing risk in order to better meet the present and future needs of Robbinsville residents.”

            The SAFER funds awarded to Robbinsville will cover all of the costs—including salaries and benefits—associated with hiring the new firefighters over three years, increasing the town’s fire crew from 17 to 21 firefighters.

            “Grant support such as this via SAFER will enable our firefighters to meet the needs of our ever-expanding community,” said Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried. “Rep. Smith has been a longtime advocate for not only our Fire Department, but for all of Robbinsville Township in the form of important legislation and unwavering support. The benefits of this award for our Fire Department and local residents, and the help it provides to our municipal budget over the next three years, is immeasurable.”

            Administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, the SAFER grant program supports fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities, including hiring more firefighters; retaining or recruiting volunteer firefighters; and increasing response capabilities to fires and other emergencies in the local community.

            “The Robbinsville Township Fire Department is extremely thankful to Congressman Chris Smith and his staff for their assistance and support during the application process,” said Fire Chief Dan Schaffener. 

            Since 2002, the Robbinsville Township Fire Department/Township of Robbinsville has received $3,090,401 in federal funding to assist the mission of protecting its residents, according to municipal officials.