The City of Naperville is pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that will assist the Naperville Fire Department in funding firefighter-paramedic positions over the next two years as part of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) program.
The grant, which totals $1,002,000, will allow the Fire Department to hire and maintain full-time firefighter-paramedics, thereby increasing the department’s ability to efficiently respond to the needs of the community. This funding will help the department fill positions that were lost through attrition, six of which are firefighter-paramedic positions.
“The SAFER grant is a tremendous asset for our Fire Department,” Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said. “This grant gives us the opportunity to maintain the level of emergency services that we are able to provide to the public. The added resources also helps maintain safety within the department to ensure we have adequate staffing to respond to emergencies.”
Receipt of the grant funding requires recruitment to begin within 90 days, and funding can only be used to hire full-time firefighter-paramedics. The grant requires the Fire Department to maintain the SAFER-funded positions as well as all current positions within the Fire Department throughout the two-year period.
“We are very pleased to receive this federal funding that will help the City hire new Fire Department personnel,” City Manager Doug Krieger said. “Even in financially challenging times, it is essential that we pursue opportunities to make sure we have the necessary resources to protect the health and well‐being of our community. Simply put, this grant helps us to maintain and assist with our budgeted staffing levels.”
Did you know? SAFER Grants provide funding directly to fire departments to assist them in increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards, and to fulfill traditional missions of fire departments.
The grants achieve this purpose by funding the hiring of new firefighters, the rehiring of firefighters who have been laid off, the retention of firefighters facing imminent layoffs or by filling positions that were vacated through attrition. For more information, visit www.fema.gov/staffing-adequate-fire-emergency-response-grants.
For more information on the City of Naperville, visit www.naperville.il.us.
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