SAFER grants available for local fire departments looking to hire

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Rep. Brian Higgins says local fire departments can get a boost in their funding through SAFER grants.

SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grants are designed to help fire departments hire more firefighters and retain those they already have. The goal is to ensure that the departments have 24-hour staffing.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place additional burdens and risks on our hardworking firefighters, new federal funding provided through the SAFER program will critically support recruitment, hiring, and retention, ensuring local fire departments have the personnel and resources they need to keep communities safe,” Higgins says. “We encourage local departments to apply.”

Because of the American Rescue Plan, a total of $560 million in federal funds has been allocated for the program.

Grant applications are being accepted through February 4 at 5 p.m. Any fire departments with questions can call the Fire Grant Help Desk on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The number is 1-866-274-0960. They can also send an email to firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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