SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Suffolk Fire & Rescue (SFR) recently received some great news. The Department of Homeland Security awarded them a $4.1 federal grant to hire more firefighters.

The money comes from the Fiscal Year 2022 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

According to a news release from SFR, they will be able to add 18 new firefighters for three years thanks to this grant.

Suffolk is among 300 fire departments across the nation that will benefit from a total $360 million provided by the FEMA funding.

Suffolk Fire & Rescue also received a SAFER Grant in 2021. That award was for $3.4 million.

“Suffolk Fire & Rescue is excited to receive the SAFER grant award.  This award, combined with the funding received from the 2020 SAFER Grant will allow Suffolk Fire & Rescue to provide the citizens of Suffolk with even further reduction of response times and a more effective emergency response,” said Chief Michael Barakey.

Suffolk Fire & Rescue is using the funds from both awards to hire the 36 firefighters needed to open the new Fire Station 11 in the Harbour View area of Suffolk.

Groundbreaking in August 2023 for new Suffolk Fire Station 11 (Photo courtesy: Suffolk Fire & Rescue)

The new station broke ground in August and is expected to open in the spring of 2025.