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The federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $466,667 has been awarded to Gloucester City, Mount Ephraim and Westville Fire Departments, Congressman Donald Norcross announced Wednesday.

Funds from the grant will be used to purchase 70 new breathing apparatus for firefighters at the departments.

“It makes us feel a lot safer,” said Gloucester City Fire Department Captain Patrick Hagan. “The other equipment we have is 15-20 years old. Now, we’ll have the newest, latest and greatest equipment that will make us compatible with surrounding communities and their fire departments, which is critical because we run mutual aid with them.”

The grant is distributed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist in purchasing emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles and training.

Congressman Norcross supported the departments in submitting the application. “This grant for South Jersey Fire Departments will help us protect those who are protecting us,” the Congressman said. “We must do all we can to ensure our firefighters are as safe as possible when they are battling fires and saving lives.”

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