Congresswoman Lee Announces Grant for the Alameda County Fire Department
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) announced the Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) was awarded a two-year $4.1 million federal SAFER grant to hire and train 12 new firefighters. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“I am excited that Alameda County has been selected for this highly competitive funding,” said Congresswoman Lee. “As local economies are continuing to recover from the economic downturn, Federal investments like the SAFER grant are key to maintaining and restoring critical public safety services.”
“The grant allows the ACFD to hire new firefighters, but does not add new firefighter positions or expand our current deployment model,” said Interim Fire Chief Dave Rocha. “This is a significant step toward maintaining our current staffing levels in the unincorporated service areas of the Department into Fiscal Year 2014/15 and Fiscal Year 2015/16.”
The FEMA SAFER program seeks to increase the number of frontline firefighters, enhancing the ability of grantees to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and assuring that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. In accordance with this grant’s requirements, the new firefighters would replace firefighters who have recently retired or who have officially notified ACFD they will be retiring later this year, allowing the department to maintain current staffing levels for two years.
Alameda County Reps. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) and Mike Honda (CA-17) also wrote letters of support on behalf of the ACFD to receive the SAFER grant.