Congressman Leonard Lance

Representing the 7th District of New Jersey

Lance: More Federal Funds for Dover Fire Department

Sep 11, 2018
Press Release

MORRIS COUNTY, N.J. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced that the Dover Fire Department is receiving a $463,418 federal grant issued through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  This announcement follows two previous awards totaling $228,693 in Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) that were issued to Dover in August.  The new funds will be dedicated to hiring four new firefighters.  The August awards are being used for gear acquisition and the procurement of an ambulance. 

I commend Fire Chief Robert Sperry, Mayor Dodd and the great firefighters and EMS in Dover.  Clearly FEMA knows a good team when it sees one.  At a time when the rate of calls is going up and the demand on the Fire Department is rising I am pleased to work with this company to secure federal funds to help out.  I know a lot of hard work was put into making this Fire Department state-of-the-art and with some of the best trained crew in the state.  Job well done,” said Lance.

According to Mayor Dodd, “The Town of Dover is extremely thankful for Congressman Lance’s consistent and unwavering support and friendship, year after year.  Dover is such an important part of the 7th Congressional District, and Congressman Lance is never afraid to reach across the aisle to support the residents of his Congressional District. The Dover Fire Department is proud and honored to receive these AFG and SAFER Grants from DHS/FEMA, awards that are unprecedented for the Town of Dover.”

Dover Fire Chief Robert Sperry added, “I am ecstatic that our department has received the SAFER Grant.  Coupled with the two AFG grants we recently received, our fire department will be safer, healthier, and better able to supply the top-notch and professional services our townspeople deserve. This is an amazing accomplishment for everyone who worked so hard to obtain these grants.”

This is the third DHS/FEMA Grant awarded to the Dover Fire Department this year.  The first two were Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG), which were presented last month by Congressman Lance, and today’s award is the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant.  A summary of these grants is as follows:

1.      The first AFG, in the amount of $49,964.00, is for acquiring the following equipment for the health and safety of firefighters:

a. Replacement of an aged vehicle exhaust system, which removes harmful toxins from the air in the firehouse;

b. Purchase a specialized washing machine/extractor and dryer to clean and decontaminate firefighter protective clothing (turnout gear). 


2.      The second AFG, in the amount of $178,729.00, will be used to purchase a new ambulance, which will replace an aging 2006 ambulance that has over 100,000 miles on it and is deployed on over 1800 medical calls for service annually.

3.      The SAFER grant, in the amount of $463,418.00, will be used for hiring four new firefighters/emergency medical technicians.  This will bring our current paid/career staff in the Dover Fire Department’s Uniformed Fire Division to 14 fulltime members.   

Public Safety Director DeGroot added, “Being awarded these grants is significant for the Town of Dover and its residents, businesses, and public/private entities.  Over the past several years, the Dover Fire Department’s call volume has been consistently increasing, while its ability to respond with adequate manpower and resources has decreased, mostly due to aging equipment/vehicles, the enormous replacement expense, and staffing shortages due to the decline of volunteers seen nationwide in the fire service.  These grants will provide our fire department with reliable equipment, resources for a healthy work environment, and adequate staffing on every shift to respond to emergencies and render aid.” 

As a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, the Seventh District lawmaker has voted to increase federal investments for both the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs.  These programs were created by Congress to help address the significant staffing, equipment, training and health and safety needs of our Nation's First Responders.