SALISBURY, N.C., (September 5, 2018) -- Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell is pleased to announce the department has been awarded two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) public safety grants totaling over $1.25 million, to add nine additional firefighters to the operations division for staffing of the new fire station six and also add an arson task force to the department’s Loss Prevention and Investigations (LPI) division.
According to Division Chief Jay Baker, who helped write the grant for the department, “the three-year Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant of $732,235 will pay 75 percent of firefighters’ pay the first two years and 35 percent the third year.” The Salisbury City Council approved the remaining $455,171 as its match of the SAFER grant on August 21.
This would bring the department complement of full-time firefighters from 77 to 86.
The SAFER grants provide financial assistance to help fire departments hire new firefighters. The goal is to assist departments with improving staffing levels to ensure they have adequate personnel to respond and safely perform at incident scenes, providing protection from fire and fire-related hazards in their communities. The department will open the application period for the SAFER grant hiring beginning on Friday, Sept. 7, through Wednesday, Oct. 3.
The second FEMA grant awarded was a Fire Prevention and Safety grant for $69,870 pulled together by Fire Marshal/Division Chief Terry Smith and the LPI division. Council also approved a five percent match of $3,493 for the grant award at yesterday’s meeting.
Fire Marshal Smith states, “this grant would enable the department to implement an Arson Task Force comprised of highly-trained and educated personnel, supplied with state of the art equipment, enabling the LPI division to aggressively investigate the origin and causes of all fires, explosions and major hazardous materials incidents occurring within the City of Salisbury.”
“We are pleased that the Salisbury Fire Department has been selected to receive these two important grants as we continue to serve the City of Salisbury at the highest possible levels of service,” Fire Chief Parnell said.