Columbus Fire Chief Dean Hefti is pleased to announce that the Department has been awarded a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $370,206.00.
The SAFER grant will provided 100% funding for an additional three fulltime firefighters for two years.
The SAFER Grants are a program under the Department of Homeland Security to help volunteer, combination and career fire departments maintain or hire trained frontline firefighters in their communities during these difficult economic times. The grant covers full salary and benefits for two years. No local taxpayer matching funds are required.
Fire Chief Dean Hefti has approached the City Council the last three years during budget time requesting to hire three new full time firefighters and was supported by the Council to apply for the SAFER Grant to pay the wages, this is the first year CFD has been awarded the grant. CFD currently has 12 career firefighters, a number that has not increased since 1978. There are currently three shifts of four firefighters who work for 24 hours and then are off duty for 48 hours. There are currently 88 city and rural volunteer firefighters who are called into service when needed.
If approved by the City Council the SAFER grant award will allow the Department to raise its level of emergency staffing levels to benefit the CFD response area.
The SAFER grant is an extremely competitive and complex grant process awarded to a very small number of Departments across the nation.
Dean HeftiFire Chiefdhefti@neb.rr.com(402) 910-8490 mobile