Fort Worth, TX – Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf visited the Fort Worth Fire Department Training Academy with Congresswoman Kay Granger, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis. During a press conference, Acting Secretary Wolf announced changes to the FY2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant program that would allow more firefighting organizations to take advantage of the grants.
“Firefighting organizations represent our hometown heroes, risking their lives to keep our communities safe,” said Acting Secretary Wolf. “While bravely answering the call during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these departments are seeing increased personnel costs. Through our decisive actions on SAFER Grants, DHS is continuing its commitment to support our local partners during this difficult time and making sure they have the resources they need to carry out their critical missions.”
FY2019 SAFER Grants will no longer be subject to certain cost share, salary cap, supplanting, and minimum budget restrictions. Further, Acting Secretary Wolf announced that economically impacted fire departments can apply for and receive SAFER funding for FY2019 through May 27th. These changes will be extended into FY2020.
The SAFER Grant program is a critical partnership between DHS, FEMA, and local fire organizations that is crucial in helping fire departments in recruitment and retention. Firefighters and EMTs have been indispensable in the fight against COVID-19 and have been part of the backbone of local responses to the pandemic.
“The Fort Worth Fire Department plays a critical role in the health and safety of our community and has been on the frontlines of our fight against COVID-19”, said Mayor Betsy Price “The SAFER Grant has ensured our first responders have the resources necessary to best protect and serve all of Fort Worth.”
“Firefighters are asked to problem solve every emergent issue of national importance. With the economic impact of Covid-19, it is imperative to maintain fire department staffing to continue to solve the next need in our communities, said Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis. “I personally appreciate the commitment of Acting Secretary Wolf to the Fort Worth Fire Department with this announcement.”
“It was an honor to be able to meet with the firefighters in my community and thank them for the job they do, said Congresswoman Kay Granger. “It was important for me to be there to understand exactly what they need in order to be able to do the best job possible to keep us safe”