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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

Fire Co. No. 2 receives 4.6K grant


Courtesy Photo Hammonton Independent Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 will use funds from the South Jersey Gas grant for enhanced training equipment including a freestanding aluminum cutting prop.

HAMMONTON—The Hammonton Independent Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 was one of the recipients that received $4,645 from the 2023 South Jersey Gas First Responders Grant Program.


This year, eight grants totaling nearly $40,000 were awarded to local first responder departments according to a press release from South Jersey Gas.


The 2023 recipients include Hammonton Independent Volunteer Fire Company No. 2, Glassboro Police Department, Tabernacle Rescue Squad, Somerdale Fire Department, Cedarville Fire Company No. 1, Galloway Office of Emergency Management, Wildwood Fire Department and Washington Fire Company No. 3.


“At South Jersey Gas, we recognize the vital role first responders play in our communities; providing critical emergency planning and response services for natural disasters and emergencies,” said Brent Schomber, President and COO, South Jersey Gas in a press release. “These grants are a token of our appreciation for their tremendous dedication, and we are proud to support the invaluable work they do to keep our customers and communities safe.”


Hammonton Independent Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 Lieutenant Joe Lizza said the funds from the grant will be used for enhanced training equipment.


“The funds the grant will be utilized for enhanced training equipment that will simultaneously modernize and increase the safety of training opportunities and evolutions. The funds will be used to purchase new and replacement items to modernize our training to enhance our ability to train to face the current threats presented to our firefighters in their work,” Lizza said.


There are two specific items the fire company will be purchasing to enhance their training, a training dummy and a freestanding aluminum cutting prop.


According to Lizza, the previous training dummy is 15-20 years old and was created in house by members using discarded firehose.


“The new model is specifically designed for the demands of our training evolutions and has a truck bed liner on the back of torso and both sides of the legs for extra durability when training requires dragging. In addition, this model has segmented arms at the shoulders for movement when doing extrication training,” Lizza said.


The second item the fire company will be purchasing is a freestanding aluminum cutting prop which will help firefighters gain saw proficiency.


The prop is easy to transport and store when not being used and can help firefighters learn to cut chain, re-bar, cable and padlocks.


“We loved the item and felt that it would benefit our training in preparation for a variety of incidents,” Lizza said.


The officers made the request to accommodate additional types of cuts including lumber and sheet metal.


“Since these units are fabricated for each customer, the minor adjustments were easily possible at no additional cost to the fire company. This is a great way to practice various means of cutting and gaining access,” Lizza said.


Lizza said he is proud of the work that the members of the fire company do each day, both during an incident and in preparation during training and drills.


“The fire department is very fortunate to be supported by the residents, business owners and elected leadership but it’s always great to receive outside funding for these items that may not be essential to our operation, but will definitely enhance our training,” Lizza said.


The items being purchased will also benefit other departments that train collaboratively with the fire company.


“Over the past decade the department has taken on new responsibilities and training needs have evolved due to these new responsibilities. It is difficult to ensure continual safe and effective training opportunities to members. This grant will provide the tools needed to enhance onsite, in-person, hands on training evolutions. These items can also benefit other departments that train collaboratively with us,” Lizza said.


The First Responders Grant Program will be offered again in the fall of 2024. Program information is available on the South Jersey Gas website at southjerseygas.com/community.

For more information about SJI and its subsidiaries, visit sjindustries.com.


About South Jersey Gas: South Jersey Gas, subsidiary of SJI (NYSE:SJI), delivers safe, reliable, affordable natural gas and promotes energy efficiency to more than 400,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, and portions of Gloucester, Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey. For more information, visit southjerseygas.com.


About SJI: South Jersey Industries (SJI), an energy infrastructure holding company based in Folsom, delivers energy services to customers through two primary subsidiaries: SJI Utilities (SJIU) and SJI Energy Enterprises (SJIEE). SJIU houses the company’s regulated natural gas utility operations, delivering safe, reliable and affordable natural gas to more than 725,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across New Jersey via its South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas subsidiaries. SJIEE houses the company’s non-utility operations primarily focused on clean energy development and decarbonization via renewable energy production and energy management activities. Visit sjindustries.com for more information about SJI and its subsidiaries.


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