Posts Tagged fire departments get Homeland Security SAFER grant money

Streamwood receives SAFER Grant – reopens shuttered firehouse

The Daily Herald has an article about the Streamwood Fire Department reopening a fire station after being closed for four years.

Nearly four years after what some residents saw as the sudden closing of a Streamwood firehouse, officials have quietly reopened the station thanks to a grant that put more firefighters on the job. The Park Boulevard station began operating again this week. At least three firefighter-paramedics are now assigned there for each 24-hour shift.

Fire Chief Chris Clark said Friday he expects the reopening to reduce the time it takes for crews to respond to emergencies, especially along Lake Street where industrial developments have popped up on what was vacant land in recent years. Facilities like a 24-hour food processing plant have contributed to a rise in calls for service on the village’s south side, Clark said.

In December 2012, Streamwood won a $627,000 federal grant to hire three firefighters. Only one other department in the state received the funding administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant enabled the department to bring its ranks up to 50 firefighting personnel. With the grant, provided by the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program, the department can now run three-person crews in all of the stations.

Streamwood weathered the economic slump by reducing the force to 47 firefighting positions through attrition. The department also eliminated the position of a full-time fire inspector who retired and reassigned those duties to other staffers. And in April 2010, the department shuttered the Park Boulevard station, sparking a protest and fears of an increase in response times. But officials defended the move, arguing that the closing improved operations.

Matt Dobson, who spearheaded the public outcry, wanted more of a heads-up to neighborhoods affected by the change. Village officials, though, say they reviewed the closing in a budget meeting. Dobson learned the station had reopened only when he drove by and saw the American flag flying outside the entrance. Up until Monday, the department used the station for training and storage of equipment.

Streamwood must keep the three firefighter-paramedics on the job for two years. With a rebounding local economy, the chief expects the department to retain them even longer.“We are very confident that we will be able to maintain those positions through our current revenue streams,” he said.

thanks Dan 

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Illinois fire departments receive federal grant money

Several area fire departments will receive FEMA funding in the form of grants.

From the

Federal officials are delivering $1.33 million in grants to Illinois fire departments and municipalities to help them better prepare for fires and other emergencies.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin — a Democrat from Springfield — says the Assistance to Firefighters Grant funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That’s a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

Wednesday’s announcement includes grants for:

  • Amboy Fire Department, $6,000
  • Bridgeview, $125,000
  • Crossville Volunteer Fire Department, $111,000
  • Carpentersville Fire Department, $10,000
  • Champaign Fire Department, $249,000
  • Dixmoor Fire Department, $88,000
  • Garden Homes Fire Protection Districts, $34,000
  • Grand Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, $90,000
  • Metropolis Fire Department, $66,000
  • Pleasantview, $72,000
  • Riverdale Fire Department, $55,000
  • Spring Bay Fire Protection District, $115,000
  • Union Fire Protection District, $60,000
  • Wauconda Fire District, $248,000


thanks Chris


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SAFER Grant awarded to Hoffman Estates

The Daily Herald announced that the Hoffman Estates Fire Department is a SAFER Grant recipient:

 The Hoffman Estates fire department will have an opportunity to hire new firefighters for the first time in more than four years thanks to a federal grant.

Fire chief Robert Gorvett said while he still needs to meet with the village manager to discuss details before accepting the money, he is very excited that the department was offered a $581,565 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The grant — which is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program — is awarded to help fire departments nationwide with hiring initiatives aimed at increasing the number of front-line firefighters.

Since 2008, the number of Hoffman Estates firefighters has decreased from 106 to 93, Gorvett said. There were never any layoffs, but as people retired they weren’t replaced.

 If the grant is accepted the plan would be to hire three new firefighters for a two-year period, Gorvett said. However, it is likely that at least three current employees will retire within in those years, meaning the department could hopefully keep the new hires permanently once the grant money runs out.“We would plan to retain them,” Gorvett said.The use of the grant money is limited to the cost of salaries and benefits for the new employees. Assuming they had no prior experience, the department would have to pay to put the new hires through the fire academy, emergency medical technician school and paramedic school. That, along with the cost of protective clothing, would cost about $15,000 per employee, Gorvett said.

Read the entire article HERE.

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SAFER Grant for Waukegan

The Lake County News-Sun has an article about a SAFRE Grant awarded tot he Waukegan Fire Department:

[Waukegan] … Aldermen voted 6-2 on Monday to accept $1.54 million to hire up to seven firefighters.

City officials received word in late July that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had designated that amount through the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

The city accepted a $1.2 million SAFER grant in June 2011 that was credited at the time with avoiding at least four layoffs. Koncan reported that the two grants would overlap, with funds from both running out in 2014.

Fire Chief Dan Young told the public safety committee in late July that the new grant would allow the department to recall two firefighters laid off due to budget cuts and add five more personnel.

Attrition during the city’s financial crunch has seen the department’s ranks shrink from 123 in 2010 to 110 this year. Young said he would strive to maintain that number whether or not the city made use of the 2012 SAFER funding.

The complete article can be found HERE.

thanks Dennis

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Grant money for Joliet & Waukegan

The Northwest Herald published the following:

Fire departments in Joliet and Waukegan will share more than $3.5 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money to hire more firefighters.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced the funding on Wednesday.

The money comes from a Department of Homeland Security program that is meant to help pay for maintaining 24-hour staffing at fire departments. The Joliet Fire Department will receive about $2 million and the Waukegan Fire Department will receive more than $1.5 million.

The federal program, called SAFER, will award about $380 million in funding for the fiscal year 2011

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