Mayor Don Guardian Confirms the City Will Apply for Fire Safer Grant [VIDEO]
I respectfully file this breaking news under the heading, "I love my Job!' During today's 9:00 AM hour of "Hurley in the Morning" on WPG Talk Radio 1450, we were able to achieve a major accomplishment that truly demonstrated everything that talk radio is suppose to be about.
This morning, we hit hard and fair; even with friends.
We relentlessly pursued the truth.
And, in the end, the truth became self-evident. This all occurred within one hours time.
The issue at hand was whether or not the City of Atlantic City would apply before tonight's 5:00 PM deadline for a Federal Safer Grant that will continue to fund 85 Atlantic City Professional Firefighters. A real moment of truth that was literally just hours away from becoming a real catastrophe.
We had an Atlantic City Professional Firefighter in studio, but, we protected his identity (on-air). I called out (on-air) the City Administrator Arch Liston for letting this get out-of-hand. I telephoned the Mayor's office and asked for Mayor Don Guardian to appear live this morning. He did!
Mayor Guardian had previously confirmed on-air with me that the City would be applying for this much-needed federal grant. For reasons still unknown, but, without merit, Liston countermanded the Mayor's previous pronouncement and he was preparing to let the deadline expire.
It should be noted that the federal money comes with no strings attached.
Mayor Guardian, always a straight shooter, called in to me on-the-air and settled the matter live during today's "Hurley in the Morning" program. Mayor Guardian unambiguously (publicly) confirmed that the grant would be applied for by 3:00 PM today, two hours before the deadline.
If this deadline had been missed, two fire companies and a rescue company would have been forced to close in Atlantic City. It could have added more than 5 (or more) minutes to response calls; the potential difference between life and death.
Today's 9:00 AM hour of Hurley in the Morning is everything that is right about talk radio. A newspaper can't do it. No other form of media can do it. The interpersonal relationship, and two-way capability allows for great things to happen, quickly. Such was the case today.
Within one hour, we publicly interviewed a professional firefighter, with a wife and 3 young children. We presented the Mayor of Atlantic City. We presented the Atlantic City Professional Firefighters Union President, and we presented on-air Fire Chief Skip Granese.
It was a public display of transparency, honesty and integrity demonstrated by all parties concerned. And the end result was marvelous. Today's demonstration at City Hall at 11:00 AM, which would have been very contentious, instead has been turned into a victory party.
With permission to get personal about this for a closing moment: I have logged more than 25,000 hours in broadcasting over more than 24 years. Without question, this is one of the most extraordinary hours of my career. It was so rewarding to see each person in this dynamic do their part so well. And the end result is that Atlantic City will be safer and hundreds of families will keep their primary wage earner game fully employed.
Everybody wins today and we also take full advantage of federal dollars that we all so richly pay into each and every year.
Update... Harry Hurley has confirmed that the City of Atlantic City has formally submitted and applied for the federal grant. It was sent at 2:07p.m. and the City has received confirmation that FEMA has received it. If approved, the grant will fund 85 firefighters, and the City is asking for $21,824,270.69.
Hear Harry Hurley's interview with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian here: