TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill establishing a permanent New Jersey museum and memorial honoring the history and sacrifice of firefighters was back in the Assembly today to concur with Senate amendments.
The bill (A5075/S4001) removes the New Jersey Fire Museum from Department of Environmental Protection oversight and creates an independent commission to take over those responsibilities.
Since 2015, the fire museum has displayed its donated memorabilia in a private warehouse provided by Upper Freehold Township. The state has been unsuccessful at obtaining funding or finding a permanent location for the museum for the last 50 years.
“A commission that is committed to New Jersey’s firefighting history will be in a better position to procure a stable home for the museum, which will provide more opportunities to engage and educate the public,” Dancer (R-Ocean) explained. “From preserving historic fire equipment to honoring our fallen heroes, the museum serves an important mission and deserves a dedicated space.”
Under the bill, the museum and memorial will have the ability to manage its own affairs by adopting rules for its governance, utilizing state offices and hiring staff, and entering into state contracts for the museum and its projects. The commission can address budgeting issues and oversee the museum’s expansion and development.
The bill appropriates $200,000 to help fund the museum and its projects. It was advanced to the governor’s desk by a unanimous vote in the Assembly on Monday.