RTFD Deploys $1.35 Million FEMA Grant Award For New Firefighters

Robbinsville Fire Department Deploys $1.35M Federal Grant
With Hiring of Four New  Firefighters

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ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – (Updated: March 9, 2022) - The Robbinsville Township Fire Department received a federal grant totaling $1,349,440 from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program on September 9, 2021 to hire four new, full-time firefighters.

In early March, 2022, firefighters Jared Robinson, Nicholas Lombardi, Cory Ayares, and Joseph Ioannucci began two weeks of department training led by Captain Jason Palmer and assisted by several senior department personnel. The two-week training academy was the product of several months of preparation and effort in order to ensure that the new personnel are best prepared to meet the needs of the community on day one. The training will assist in familiarizing the new firefighters with the various types of equipment utilized by the department.

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.
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The new firefighters will be sworn into their new roles on March 10 at the Robbinsville Township Council meeting and will be assigned to their shifts beginning March 13.

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, thus increasing Township fire personnel from 17 to 21.

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 volunteers; and increasing response capabilities to fires and other emergencies in the local community.

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

“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. Chris Smith, a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus and a longtime supporter of the RTFD. “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.”
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“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.”

“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.”

“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.

-RT-
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