Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Grant will fund hiring of 13 Westland firefighters

Westland has been awarded a $2,387,804.25 federal grant to fund the hiring of 13 new firefighters for three years.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant (SAFER) was awarded through the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). The grant requires a city match funding portion of 25 percent or $322,676.32 in years one and two. The third year requires a city match funding portion of 65 percent or $838,958.25. The average annual cost to the city for the increased emergency staffing will be 38 percent during the three years of the grant.

SAFER grants are awarded to communities to ensure compliance with National Fire Protection standards that relate to the staffing of fire stations, response times, and overall assembly of force to efficiently deliver service more effectively and safely, officials said. The grant assists fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities to respond to emergencies and assure adequate protection from fire and other hazards.
“There is no doubt that the additional manpower awarded through the SAFER grant will play a vital role in increasing the efficiency of the fire department to continue to provide the excellent service Westland residents deserve,” commented Westland Fire Chief Michael Stradtner.  “It is our intention to begin hiring as soon as possible and take full advantage of this 'big win' for the City of Westland.
Only a small percentage of the thousands of departments who apply are awarded SAFER grants, a spokesman said. 
“These grants are very competitive as communities across the county are faced with difficulties adequately staffing their public safety departments,” commented Mayor William R. Wild.  “Westland is fortunate for this opportunity to ensure the fire department can continue to deliver the service residents have to come to expect and deserve.”