News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 10, 2014

City nets $1.5M fire safety grant

FEMA selects three communities in need of more firefighters

TERRE HAUTE — The City of Terre Haute has received a highly-competitive grant for more than $1.5 million – allowing the city to hire 10 additional firefighters for the next two years, officials announced Friday.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and totals $1,537,010 for Terre Haute.

“This is a nice way to start 2014,” said Fire Chief Jeff Fisher, speaking Friday.

Terre Haute is one of three central Indiana cities whose fire departments will be able to hire additional firefighters thanks to SAFER grants.

The fire departments of Anderson and Hammond will receive $1,246,210 and $965,046, respectively, said U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. The grants must be used to hire additional firefighters.

The Terre Haute Fire Department was down by 10 firefighters, Fisher said. “We went for the maximum on it,” he said.

Twice in the past Fisher has put together grant applications for this particular funding, he said. In both cases, the application was unsuccessful. SAFER grants are very competitive and take months to prepare, he said.

Assistant Chief James Kane did the leg work putting together the application, Fisher said.

The fire department is facing about five retirements over the next two years, the chief said.

“Indiana’s firemen and women are some of the bravest and hardest working members of our community,” Donnelly stated in a news release. “I am proud to see these departments receive the federal support they need. This grant money will help them serve their communities much more safely and efficiently by allowing them to hire additional firefighters. These men and women put their lives on the line every day, and they deserve our support.”

The SAFER grant program was created to increase the number of trained firefighters available to communities in need. More information about these competitive grants can be found at www.fema.gov/staffing-adequate-fire-emergency-response-grants. For more information on how Sen. Donnelly’s office can assist groups applying for federal grants, visit www.donnelly.senate.gov/help/grants.

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