City of Hackensack Approved for Five New Firefighters Through Federal SAFER Grant
The City of Hackensack has been approved for grant funding to hire five new firefighters through the federal SAFER program, which is designed to help municipalities maintain adequate public safety staffing without overburdening local taxpayers. City officials submitted its revised grant application and received approval from FEMA for the $1 Million award, which funds three years of salaries and benefits.
“This grant funding will allow our city to continue growing the fire department in a fiscally responsible manner that helps keep residents safe,” said Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse. “I would like to thank the City Manager’s office as well as our Chief Financial Officer Jim Mangin for their work in this matter, and I’m glad that we can now move forward with this grant award.”
A comprehensive public safety review that was performed at the direction of the City Council in late 2021 found that the Hackensack Fire Department currently had adequate staffing to keep residents safe from emergencies, but that increased staffing may become necessary in the future.
“Accepting this grant allows Hackensack city officials to be proactive in increasing their Fire Department’s headcount and ensure that manpower will continue to be strong in the case of both continued growth and potential department retirements. Ensuring the safety of our residents is paramount to the City of Hackensack,” said City Manager Vincent Caruso.
As one of the few paid fire departments in Bergen County, the Hackensack Fire Department maintains one of the fastest response times in the area and the department’s staffing currently meets National Fire Protection Association standards for single family homes. City officials are committed to continuing to closely monitor staffing levels to ensure the Department’s capabilities are sufficient as Hackensack continues to grow, in addition to pursuing more shared services and cooperation with nearby municipalities to enhance capabilities in a fiscally responsible manner.