SWEDESBORO — The Woolwich Fire Company has been awarded a competitive Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant totaling $295,000 by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In September, fire company was notified of this award, to be used over four years for a modern recruitment marketing program to encourage greater and lasting interest. A stipend-based program will provide financial incentives for adequate, trained staffing by trained firefighters on the daytime duty shift, in accordance with National Fire Protection Association standards for staffing, response and operations.
Given the potential for positive outcomes to recruit and retain volunteers with SAFER grant funding, the Woolwich Fire Company sees this as a cost-effective method to continue top-notch fire protection service to residents of Swedesboro and Woolwich.
“The Woolwich Fire Company has been an amazing asset in our community for over 120 years and the dedication displayed by their members is something every resident should appreciate and thank them for. This grant is well deserved, and I congratulate the team for their tenacious effort to secure it”, said Swedesboro Mayor Thomas Fromm.
Woolwich Mayor Vernon Marino praised the fire chief’s leadership. “Chief Dave Valichka has done an outstanding job of holding the line on operational costs by successfully obtaining federal grant funds. I support and applaud his efforts to improve fire service to our community.”
As such, the Borough of Swedesboro and Township of Woolwich supported the grant application, one of the few ways that taxpayers recoup any of their federal tax dollars. New Jersey consistently ranks near last in their fair share of federal tax dollar.
Chief David T. Valichka added, “I am humbled to receive word that our department was awarded this competitive federal grant. Our members spend countless hours training to ensure residents are protected and safe when they call us in their time of need.
“Fire fighters take great pride in serving the community. This grant allows us to enhance fire protection and rescue services for Swedesboro and Woolwich. This department is always striving to serve at the highest level. I’m proud to be part of the great leadership of this public service organization,” he added.