Jacksonville Fire Department receives SAFER grant from FEMA

By Gary Scott on July 31, 2017 at 7:47am

A local fire department has been awarded a federal grant geared towards improving response time.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois notified the Jacksonville Fire Department last week that it was a recipient of a SAFER grant from FEMA, according to a release from Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills. SAFER stands for “Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response” and is intended to help local fire departments improve their staffing and deployment capabilities in order for them to respond to emergencies more effectively.

According to the news release, response times for the local department will be reduced sufficiently, and an appropriate number of trained personnel will dispatched to the scene of the incident.

This SAFER grant is a three-year cost-sharing program in which firefighter salaries are paid at 65% at the first two years and 35% percent the third year. This particular award is in the amount of $399-thousand and will afford the Jacksonville Fire Department to fill three firefighter positions, according to the news release.