Local fire departments are reminded to apply for federal SAFER grants

Applications must be received by Friday, February 24, 2012

WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney, both members of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, are encouraging local fire departments to apply for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS), FY 2011 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants. The goal of SAFER is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies, thus assuring that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Grants support two main activities: hiring and rehiring firefighters and supporting volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention programs.

“As co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I’m committed to ensuring that men and women of our fire and emergency services in Delaware and across the country have a properly trained and functional staff and stay in compliance with national regulations,” Sen. Carper said. “This grant helps the First State’s fire companies maintain the mandatory number of personnel and helps train more firefighters to perform at their very best during times of crisis.”

“First responders put their lives on the line in order to protect the communities in which they serve; and we need to do all that we can to give them the tools and resources they need to do their jobs as safely as possible,” said Senator Coons. “I am encouraging local fire departments to apply for SAFER grants in an effort to increase the number of firefighters responding to fire and fire-related hazards, and also to retain existing firefighters who we have come to depend on.”

“Delaware firefighters show tremendous courage, professionalism, and dedication to protecting our communities,” said Congressman Carney. “SAFER grants can help Delaware fire companies with the staffing, deployment capabilities, and training they need to protect themselves and all of us. I encourage our local companies to take advantage of this open application period.”

For more information on how to apply, visit: http://www.fema.gov/firegrants/safer/index.shtm. SAFER help desk specialists can also answer questions by telephone toll-free at 1-866-274-0960, or by e-mail at firegrants@dhs.gov.

The competitive SAFER grant program is administered by DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in coordination with the U.S. Fire Administration.