Savannah Fire & Emergency Services has been awarded more than $3.5 Million in federal grant money to add 25 new firefighter positions within the department.
The Department of Homeland Security Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant will enable the department to become fully compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) staffing requirements under NFPA Standard 1710. Savannah Fire adopted the NFPA staffing standard prior to achieving the coveted ISO Class 1 certification last December. The money will also enable the department to fill positions left open by attrition of firefighters.
“This is another component in bringing Savannah Fire’s staffing level up to nationally-recognized standards,” said Savannah Fire Chief Charles G. Middleton.
The grant money will be available in January 2016 and will provide the full cost of salaries and benefits for the new firefighters for two years, after which the City of Savannah will assume those costs.
In awarding the grant, FEMA stated that the department’s request, submitted as part of the application process in the spring, was consistent with the SAFER grant program’s purposes and approved the department’s total request.