Smith Announces Over $500,000 In Federal Funds To Help Toms River Volunteer Fire Department Recruit New Members

February 16, 2023

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) today announced Toms River Fire District No. 1 will receive $508,256 in federal funds to help recruit and retain volunteers as part of the federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The Fire District oversees six of the township’s Source: Toms River Fire District No. 1 website.nine fire stations.

“The vitality of Toms River’s volunteer fire department depends greatly on retaining its dedicated firefighters who selflessly risk their lives to rescue our neighbors who fall in harm’s way, as well as attracting new volunteers who are ready to courageously respond to the call of service,” said Smith, who had contacted the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of the township to advocate for the funds.

“Toms River is grateful to Congressman Smith for working hard to get these much-needed funds to recruit and retain firefighters,” said Maurice B. “Mo” Hill, Jr., Mayor of Toms River. “Our first responders, many of whom are volunteers, are the backbone of our community and we are grateful for their sacrifice and courage in protecting our lives and property.”

“This federally-funded Recruitment & Retention grant is a tremendous leg up for volunteer firefighting and the lifesaving and financial benefits it brings to our community,” said Fire District No. 1 Administrator Brian Kubiel, who noted the funds will be used to reach out to potential recruits and help pay the expenses of firefighting training, including related advertising and educational classes.

“This federal grant program—which I strongly supported—will help ensure the vital Toms River volunteer fire crew can continue to meet the needs of our community with responsive action that will help save the lives of those who find themselves in serious danger,” said Smith, a member of the House Fire Services Caucus.

Administered by DHS, the SAFER grant provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, front-line firefighters in their communities.

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