Roanoke County Fire and Rescue awarded nearly $3M SAFER grant

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 9:29 AM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke County Fire and Rescue has been awarded nearly $3 million from the Department of Homeland Security through the SAFER program.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Response program is a competitive grant given to a deserving fire department that “demonstrates a clear need for additional firefighter staffing.” Roanoke County was awarded $2,916,945.

The department said the grant will fund the hiring and salaries of 15 firefighters over three years.

“This is great news for the County of Roanoke. These Federal funds will allow us to enhance fire and rescue services across the County,” said David F. Radford, chairman of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.

The department said it has dealt with staffing challenges for many years, while also facing an increased need for services.

“The department will utilize the 15 positions to ensure adequate emergency response capabilities, and improve coverage during multiple calls and significant fires,” said Chief Stephen G. Simon.

Training will be provided through a recruit school scheduled for January 2021, with new firefighters being assigned to stations in April.

In November 2020, the department will finish its first SAFER grant, received in 2016 for 11 new firefighter positions. The County will continue to fund those positions once the grant concludes.

For more information on the SAFER grant program, click here.

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