News

Grant to assist in funding the hiring of 12 firefighters 

The Forsyth County Fire Department has been awarded a grant from the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA to support the staff cost for a new fire station in the western portion of the county. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant has been awarded in the amount of $1,652,080, with the county providing a required cash match contribution of $1,026,968.  

The grant will fund the hiring of 12 new firefighters that will be stationed at the new Pittman Rd. fire station that is scheduled to open sometime late next year. The grant will provide funding for 2019, 2020 and 2021 that was not otherwise fully funded in the fire fund’s operation budget. The approved total cost for the project is $2,679,048.

“One of the fire department’s goals in applying for this funding was to improve compliance with the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendation to staff the new station with a four person engine company,” said Fire Chief Danny Bowman. “Forsyth County continues to see an increased need for fire department services.  This grant will go far in supporting the costs of the new station.”

Forsyth County is one of 371 fire departments nationwide that have been awarded this grant to date. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are nearly 30,000 fire departments in the United States.  The multi-month grant application process began earlier this year.  Working closely with the Fire Department and others within the county, Forsyth County Finance Department personnel ensured that the county’s grant application was ready for the competitive process.  All applications went through an extensive evaluation process that included a peer review panel. The highest ranking applicants then underwent a technical review to determine which ones would receive this FEMA funding.

U.S. Representative Rob Woodall also wrote letters of support to help the county obtain the grant and visited with the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, county manager, Finance Department officials and the Forsyth County Fire Department on Tuesday, Sept. 11. 

“I couldn’t be prouder to partner with Chief Bowman and our Forsyth County leaders working so diligently to make our community an even better and safer place,” said Rep. Woodall. “We have a track record of success that speaks for itself, making us prime candidates for these grant opportunities, and it’s a privilege to share that story with decision-makers in Washington on our community’s behalf. Partnering federal funds with our strong, local vision provides us with an opportunity to do even more together, and I’m confident the results will make us all proud.” 

The SAFER grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720).

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