SAFER Grant Helps Rehire Three Ohio Firefighters


Three laid off fire fighters should get their jobs back. For the city and it's residents, there should be better protection. For the Fire Department, it is now brought up to National Fire Protection Association standards and have a welcomed boost in manpower.

"Manpower is everything in this job," said Chris Blackburn, union president for Steubenville's fire fighters.

Blackburn first heard Steubenville Fire Department was awarded the grant when NEWS9 called him this morning.

"I thought it was great. You know there was a lot of naysayers that we were never going to get the guys back, and what a gift on Christmas Eve," said Blackburn.

The gift for this department is the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant.

"It's a grant for fire departments to bring back employees, expand services to their department. Mike Taylor, our assistant chief and district vice president, worked hard on the grant. We kept it positive, chin up in these tough economic times, and it really worked out well," said Blackburn.

Blackburn said getting the grant offers some perspective on the necessity of the Fire Department in Steubenville.

"To be in the top three selected says a lot. They know that in this area, they need their protective services. And obviously the government recognized that also. You couldn't write it in a book any better. It hit right at the very best time. And the guys have been notified and they're excited."

The goal of SAFER grant is to improve the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards.

Overall, Steubenville Fire Department stands to receive $308,901.

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