The Galion Fire Department was authorized to apply for a grant which would assist in adding firefighters to its roster. During a May 26 meeting, City Council gave its blessing to seek funds from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant offered through FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.
If awarded, Fire Chief Phil Jackson intends to hire three additional, full-time firefighters. The grant covers both salaries and benefits at $237,354 per year for three years, or a total of $712,062. This amount is based on the salary and benefits of a full-time firefighter at the time of the grant application.
“We expect retirements to occur within the next three years, so this will help us with succession planning,” Jackson explained.
The purpose of the grant program is “to assist in increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fires and fire-related hazards.”
In the past, the department has applied for equipment using the same program. Jackson decided to seek funds for staffing because the local cost share was recently waived. At the end of the grant term, the city is not required to keep the additional staff.
For more information about the SAFER grant, visit the FEMA website.