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Fuel pump power connector gasket/washer - safety issue?

Nissan Sentra 1.6L DOHC - just replaced the fuel pump (internal to tank). I’m having a hard time reconnecting the power connector. There is a thick rubber gasket/washer that goes in between the two connectors (to keep the brass conductors dry?). It is almost impossible to make the connection with this washer.

Question is do I need this washer? I don’t think it’s there for a safety issue. If I follow the wires out of the connector (pump side) both the brass connectors and the power connection of the fuel pump are submersed in gas.

Should I have the fire truck stand by when I crank it up?

Not a fire hazard a corrosion protection feature. I don’t think anyone will tell you to omit it. You may try lubing this part with silicone spray (dont spray the contacts just get the silicone on the rubber) and make sure its in it proper place.

thanks it’s good to hear.