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Saint Petersburg Fire & Rescue invited children between the ages of 8 and 14 to the annual Take Your Child to Work Day on April 28, 2011. More than 36 children experienced a bird’s-eye view inside the daily operations of the department. Designed to be more than a career day, the girls and boys get to appreciate the vital aspects of what their parent or mentor experience during a work day, the importance of their position in the department and the value of their education. Saint Petersburg Fire & Rescue implements a hands-on, interactive environment to help the children discover the power and possibilities associated with a career in Fire & Rescue. They are offered an opportunity to share how they envision their future and are educated on the steps in achieving those goals. Each year, St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue offers new interactive activities to engage the children. This year’s activities included the Fire Chief’s Ironman Challenge and a twist on the popular TV show The Amazing Race.
Our very own Dr. Raymond Basri (Firefighter Health and Wellness) received the Oscar E. Edwards Memorial award for 2011 from the American College of Physicians. This award recognizes work done by a physician for volunteer and community service. The award is bestowed upon an ACP Medical Student Member, Associate, Member, Fellow, or Master who has initiated or has been involved in volunteer programs or has provided volunteer service post-training. The service must have been performed on a completely voluntary basis and not for the completion of training or position requirements. Volunteer work must have been done as a physician or medical trainee and be medically related.
Newark Gains State-of-the Art Hazmat Vehicles
Newark, NJ, Mayor Cory A. Booker, Newark Municipal Council Members, Fire Director Fateen A. Ziyad, and Fire Chief John Centanni unveiled five new fire trucks, consisting of three engines and two Hazmat vehicles, at the Newark Fire Department’s Fire Training Academy at 191 Orange Street in Newark.
“Since 2006, my administration has made public safety a top priority, and we have worked to provide our courageous firefighters with the state-of-the-art technology they need to save property and lives. I commend Fire Director Ziyad and his team for their commitment to make Newark one of the nation’s best Hazmat responders,” said Mayor Booker.
The two Hazmat vehicles were paid for with an Urban Area Security Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and cost $330,000 each, including the high-tech support equipment. Two of the new engines’ costs were borne by the City of Newark’s capital budget, while the third was paid for by the Hazardous Materials fund, which consists of fines collected from hazardous waste violators. Each engine cost $358,000.
“These two Hazmat vehicles are state-of-the-art Hazmat apparatus,” said Director Ziyad. “They give us the ability to support a regional response, and put us on the same line as New York City and Fairfax County, VA, the two best Hazmat responders on the East Coast. The three new engines allow us to upgrade our fleet, giving us a top-of-the-line engine fleet.”
Newark Gets $7 Million Grant to Hire 70 New Firefighters
U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-NJ-10) announced that the Newark, NJ, Fire Department was awarded $7.1 million in federal funding to hire 70 new firefighters. The funding is being made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program and will be used to fill vacancies left by recently retired Newark firefighters.
“This federal grant funding will help ensure that the Newark Fire Department has the staffing necessary to protect local families and secure our region,” said Senator Lautenberg, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security that funds the SAFER grant program. “I am committed to making sure our fire departments are equipped and staffed when the alarm sounds and I will continue fighting in Washington to fund homeland security programs that benefit our state.”
The $7.1 million two-year SAFER grant funding awarded by FEMA comes as a much needed boost to the Newark Fire Department. Recent job losses have left much needed positions to be filled.
“Safer grants were created to provide funding directly to fire departments to help them increase the number of trained firefighters available in their communities. The Safer grant funding is a win-win as more jobs are now available to the unemployed and the residents of Newark will be safer because of the new hires,” said Congressman Payne.
The SAFER grant program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained “front line” firefighters in their communities. The program is administered by FEMA and funds salaries for two years.