Pender EMS and Fire has been awarded a grant for $1.53 Million to help fill needed firefighting positions.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant (SAFER) will provide $1.53 million over two years to help fill 17 firefighter positions. The grant is aimed to provide money directly to fire departments from national to local levels to help provide “front line” firefighters in communities.
At a news conference last week, EMS & Fire Chief Woody Sullivan said they currently have three firefighters per engine, the minimum amount allowed for safety reasons.
Commenting on the safety standards Sullivan said that if they send two firefighters into a structure fire, they also like to have two guys on the outside, and with the current 3-person crews they are not capable of doing that.
Lt. Shannon Boehmer started working on the grant about two years ago.
Sullivan said the extra person will not only increase safety of first responders, but will also cut down on response times and increase the efficiency of the response.
Sullivan said, “I mean it’s helping the economy, it helps the community, it puts more first responders on the streets.”
Sullivan said they hope to have all 17 new hires working at the various Pender fire stations by January.
Source: FEMA.gov, Pender EMS & Fire