MFRD Chief Mark Foulks received a call from Senator Lamar Alexander’s office Thursday with great news... the department has been awarded a “Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER)” Federal grant in excess of 2.8 million dollars.
The grant will assist MFRD with hiring a total of 27 firefighters and aid with meeting National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommended minimum staffing standards.
As a recipient of this grant, the department is required to maintain staffing levels and incur no lay-offs during the first three years. Funds from the grant will cover 75 percent of the annual cost for a new firefighter in the first and second years and 35 percent of the annual cost for the third year. After the three-year performance period, the funding for these positions rests solely with the City.
The federal share of the grant totals $2,840,009.00. The City will contribute a cost match of $1,765,408.00 during the three year commitment.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Department of Homeland Security for awarding us this grant,” said Foulks. “This money will aid us in meeting NFPA staffing standards, further enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the services we provide to the community.”
The department will not be posting for the positions. New hires will be selected from an existing list of qualified applicants. According to Foulks, those positions will likely be filled in November.