On Friday August 19 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notified the Brewster Fire Department that they have been awarded $284,000 in Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) funding to hire two additional career firefighter/paramedics.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) were created by the Federal government to provide direct funding to career, combination, and volunteer fire departments to assist them in increasing, maintaining, and/or recruiting the requisite number of front-line firefighters required to safely and effectively deliver all hazard emergency response services to their respective communities and meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) staffing standards.
Fire Chief Robert Moran stated “our organization is extremely pleased to have been awarded these funds through such a competitive national grant process and for the support of our application we received from the Board of Selectmen. While we continue to employ a combination type fire department that currently fits the needs of the community the steady influx of new housing, nursing and assisted living facilities, medical facilities, and an aging population does significantly strain our ability to deliver effective all hazard response services on a daily basis. If approved, the hiring of these new firefighter/paramedics will significantly enhance our response capabilities and provide a great benefit to the entire community”.
The grant program is designed to fund the salaries and benefits for two new firefighter/paramedics for a two-year period beginning in January of 2017. There is no match required from the Town. The grant guidelines allow the Board of Selectmen 30 days to approve or reject the funding.
This grant is the second award received by the Brewster Fire Department during the 2015 program period. Last month the department accepted a $370,000 award for new portable and mobile radios that was funded through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. Together the two awards total $655,000 in project funding that will provide direct relief to Brewster taxpayers and the Towns future operating and capital budgets.