WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) – New Jersey senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg have announced federal funding for two New Jersey fire departments.

The Washington Township and Township of Ocean fire departments will receive grants totaling more than $500,000.

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The funding was awarded through FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response and Assistance to Firefighter Grant programs. It will allow the departments to avoid layoffs, hire new firefighters and protect the health and safety of first responders.

The funding will be distributed as follows:

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The Washington Township Fire Department will receive a $363,952 SAFER grant and will use the funding to hire two firefighters;

The Township of Ocean Fire Department will receive $138,472 in AFG funding and will purchase 27 to 30 self contained breathing apparatuses to replace current ones which are outdated and not up to code.

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