Carper, Coons, Carney announce more than $946,000 for fire prevention

SAFER grant will help Delaware fire departments' recruit and retain volunteer firefighters

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Representative John Carney today announced a total of $946,300 in Department of Homeland Security funding for a federal initiative designed to strengthen our nation’s fire departments’ ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant will support the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters in Delaware.

“The tragic explosion and fire at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, last week provides us with a somber reminder of how invaluable our firefighters are in responding to unexpected disasters,” Senator Carper, co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, said. “It’s critical for us to ensure that our fire and emergency services in Delaware and across the country have the training, equipment and staff that they need to protect our communities and keep us all safe from harm. This grant will help the First State’s fire companies do just that by boosting their capacity to respond to hazardous situations through new training and additional hiring.”

“When disaster strikes, our firefighters are first on the scene to assess the situation and stop the destruction,” Senator Coons said. “Our local fire departments must have the resources and personnel they need to keep our communities safe from danger. I want to congratulate the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association for being awarded this highly competitive grant, which will be used to recruit and train volunteers and workers across the state.”

“Delaware firefighters put their lives on the line for our communities every day,” Congressman Carney said. “In times of crisis, it’s the courage, dedication, and selflessness of these brave men and women that protects us. This SAFER grant will ensure that Delaware’s fire companies continue to have the staffing and training they need to protect themselves and all of us. Congratulations to the DVFA on their successful application. I know these resources will be put to good use.”

The grant, which is being awarded to the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, will enhance the ability of local fire departments to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid-off due to the economy. This funding is part of round 23 of the FY2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.