Lower Saucon Fire Rescue announced Wednesday that it’s received a federal grant worth $287,000. The grant comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program for the 2018 fiscal year.
According to a fire company news release, the SAFER grant program was created to provide funding directly to fire departments to help increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in communities with a goal of enhancing response and operational capabilities. It is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the United States Fire Administration.
The department said the grant will be used specifically for recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters over the next four years.
Deputy Fire Chief and Public Information Officer Bryan Evans added that the department is working on final budget changes to be approved by FEMA. He said the focus will likely be on funds dedicated to training new firefighters and rewarding current members. Incentives may include tuition reimbursement and rewards programs.
Evans also said the department will continue to meet with other departments in the region and state which have launched successful programs in order to learn best practices and apply them to serving the Saucon Valley.