Suffolk receives $3.4M federal grant to hire more firefighters


Photo courtesy: City of Suffolk

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Suffolk Fire & Rescue has secured a $3.4 million grant to help hire more firefighters.

The grant comes from the Department of Homeland Security through the Fiscal Year 2020 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. The funding is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to a City of Suffolk news release, the funding will hire 18 new firefighters, which will help fill the new North Suffolk Fire & Rescue Station in the Harbour View area.

That new station needs a total of 36 firefighters to operate.

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

The funding for Suffolk is part of a $355 million pool that was awarded to about 300 fire departments across the United States. The grants aim to help departments increase staffing so they can meet “industry minimum standards and to attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate fire protection from fire and fire-related hazards,” the release said.

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