Two Bay Area cities are among 10 statewide that have received sizeable federal grants to boost their numbers of firefighters, members of Congress announced today.
Oakland got more money from the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program than any other city in the state in this round of funding: $7,782,240.
“This highly competitive funding is critical to improving public safety and ensuring 24-hour staff coverage by hiring new and laid-off Oakland firefighters,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said in a news release. “As Oakland and our nation continue to recover from the greatest economic downturn since the great depression, federal investments in public sector hiring are critical to moving our economy forward.”
Pinole got $1,239,456.
“This grant is a vital boost to our local fire department which plays such an important safety role in our community,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez. “First responders all over California have been hit especially hard by the recent economic downturn and I’m glad to see the federal government stepping in with critical financial resources to help carry out the vital mission of our local firefighters. I congratulate the Pinole Fire Department on winning this grant.”
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, called Pinole’s grant “a win for the public” as well as the fire department.
“It will enhance public health and safety by making sure our local fire department has the resources and personnel it needs to keep our community safe and respond to fire and fire-related emergencies,” he said. “I am proud to support these grants and thank our firefighters and first responders for their service.”
The SAFER program designed to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards and improve the nation’s overall level of preparedness, with the goals of enhancing local departments’ ability to reach and maintain 24-hour staffing and to assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. In other words – it’s to help the departments increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who were laid off due to the economy.
Other cities for which SAFER grants were announced today include:
El Medio Fire Protection District, Oroville – $312,000
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District – $5,632,152
Santa Rosa Fire Department – $2,560,068
City of Oxnard – $2,227,581
Downey Fire Department – $1,886,958
City of Hesperia Fire Protection District – $2,012,583
City of San Bernardino Fire Department – $3,055,989
Colton Fire Department – $1,986,300