|The shiny glitter of national-sized politics doesn’t compare to the fire engine gleam of public safety.
Slammed by his opponent for taking past campaign contributions from billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2) – far from the festive atmospherics of Cleveland, Ohio, where Trump last night accepted the Republican nomination for president – today announced two federal Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) totaling $167,408 to fire departments in Cumberland County.
Since the program began in 2001, New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District fire and emergency response organizations have received more than $25 million under AFG, LoBiondo noted.
“A truly life and death career, each day our first responders risk their lives for our communities by answering the call for help. Without question, each day the men and women of our fire and emergency response companies come through for us,” said LoBiondo, a member of the Congressional Fire Caucus, and a campaign cycle Republican target as one-time gaming meccca Atlantic City wallows in South Jersey financial decrepitude.
“The peer-reviewed AFG program has helped many Cumberland County first responders acquire critical life-saving equipment,” the congressman explained, his focus firmly on fire fighters. “I will continue to strongly support this federal program which literally saves lives.”
According to the congressman, today’s funding announcement includes $142,858 to the Cedarville Fire Department. This is the third AFG grant for the fire department with previous awards $48,060 (2003) and $36,601 (2002). In their second AFG grant, $24,550 is awarded to the Commercial Township Fire District II. Last summer the fire district received $54,000 from the federal program.
In the November general election, LoBiondo faces Democratic challenger David Cole, whose campaign has $15,000 cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission, compared to LoBiondo’s $919,000.