BELMAR - Belmar officials have approved a program that grants free beach access to first responders in Monmouth County.

The program allows firefighters and first aid squad members to enjoy Belmar's beaches free of charge all summer long. Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said, "[First responders] respond to our homes, businesses, beach and houses of worship when called, no matter what time of the night or day - and all for no pay! I want them and their families to enjoy themselves and take a break without having to pay for beach access."

The town says for those who qualify, simply show the gate attendant a valid municipal government identification card from the municipality where they volunteer.