Today, Friday, May 7, the fourth round of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) awards for FY '09 was announced.
The Orlando Fire Department was the only department awarded in this round, receiving a $8,360,469 grant for hiring.
The $55 million in grant funds will help provide direct assistance to 48 career, volunteer, and combination fire departments.
Since 2005, SAFER has awarded 1,137 grants totaling more than $500 million to fire departments across the country to help to increase staffing of frontline firefighters. This year, DHS has received 2,128 applications for nearly $1.25 billion in grant requests.
The SAFER grants program awards grants to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities so they may respond to emergencies whenever they occur, assuring their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.
SAFER grants provide funding for hiring new firefighters, rehiring laid-off firefighters, and programs for recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. Ultimately, SAFER grantees should achieve more efficient responses and a safer incident scene.
SAFER grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Preparedness Directorate through its Office of Grants and Training, in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration, also within the Preparedness Directorate.