Roanoke County has announced a grant award in the amount of $1,084,206.00 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the fiscal year 2016 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Response (SAFER) program. The SAFER program is a competitive grant awarded to deserving fire departments that demonstrate a clear need for additional firefighter staffing.
This cost sharing grant will, over a three year period, fund the hiring of 11 firefighter positions. DHS will fund 75% and Roanoke County will fund 25% in the first two years of the grant. In the third year of the grant, DHS will fund 35% and Roanoke County will fund 65%.
Roanoke County Fire & Rescue has for many years been challenged in meeting staffing levels while faced with increased needs for service. The department will utilize the 11 positions to ensure adequate emergency response capabilities. A recruit school scheduled to start in January 2018 will provide training and the new personnel will be assigned to stations beginning in May 2018.
The goal of the SAFER grant program is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies, and assure that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire related hazards. Local fire departments accomplish this by improving staffing and deployment capabilities so they may more effectively and safely respond to emergencies.
For more information about the SAFER grant program go to https://www.fema.gov/media?library/assets/documents/127856.