9/18/2020 12:00:00 AM

Grant funds will be used to hire 18 new Firefighters

Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department Awarded $3 Million SAFER Grant
Grant funds will be used to hire 18 new Firefighters
The Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department has been awarded $3,096,738 in SAFER Grant funding to hire 18 new firefighters.
Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, ‘front line’ firefighters available in their communities.”
In particular, the SAFER Grant is meant to support local fire departments in maintaining compliance with staffing and response standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
“Maintaining and enhancing the safety of our community, and the firefighters and first responders that protect it has been and remains a key priority,” said Mayor David Alvey. “Successfully securing this federal SAFER Grant amounts to a $3.1 million investment in both, allowing us to hire 18 additional firefighters and expand the number of personnel on various pumpers for added safety and capability. This is a significant accomplishment for the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department and the entire community, and I want to congratulate everyone involved for their efforts throughout this process and their service to our community."
While the most recent county-wide survey showed that 85% of residents were satisfied or very satisfied with the Fire Department’s service, the Department remains focused and committed to meeting the public safety needs of our community, ensuring staffing and response times exceed expectations, and securing new equipment, the latest technology, and updating facilities – while doing so in a fiscally responsible manner.
“As the leaders of the Department, our priority is to prepare and equip firefighters to better address real-world challenges. We’re doing that in a variety of ways, including the deployment of new equipment and technologies, recruiting more highly-trained personnel, optimizing staff placement and developing a long-term plan to phase out old, unsafe and outdated facilities,” said Chief Michael Callahan. “The SAFER grant contributes to this priority by adding more trained firefighters to our existing force and, ultimately, further improving the service our community expects.”
The new firefighter positions would be used to “add weight” to six firefighter Pumpers by increasing their staff from 3 crew members to 4. Increasing the number of crew members on the pumper units will bring these groups into compliance with NFPA Standard 1710, which recommends putting a company of personnel on the scene of an emergency within 4 minutes or less.
The additional firefighters would also increase compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) two-in, two-out requirement that firefighters never go into a dangerous situation alone, and that two firefighters always remain outside of a hazardous area to initiate a rescue if needed.
The SAFER Grant will reduce the Department’s initial fiscal expenditures for the hiring of 18 firefighters in the first three years by 100%. Total savings provided by the SAFER grant are more than $3,000,000.
To learn more about the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department, visit kckfd.org