The Bulloch County Fire Department recently received a grant that will help recruit and retain volunteer firefighters.
According to a release from the Board of Commissioners, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant of $385,716 comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It will be awarded over a 4-year period that will aid in volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention. It will be used to fund several categories including head-to-toe Personal Protective Equipment for new recruits, leadership/career training, various new member costs, like physicals and textbooks, and a marketing program for recruitment, according to the release.
“We appreciate Monroe Consulting and Mrs. Pat Lanier Jones for their assistance in writing this grant,” said County Manager Tom Couch. “And while we are disappointed, we did not receive hiring funding, the resources from this award will be invaluable in building and supporting our much-needed volunteer firefighters.”
The SAFER Grant 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.
"Thank you to the county manager and the Board of Commissioners for their support in applying for this grant,” said Fire Chief Ben Tapley. “Their planned vision is to increase emergency services to all the citizens of Bulloch County. This grant allows us to add more volunteer firefighters over the next four years, while we add more career staff, to ensure the Bulloch County Fire Department can meet the growing needs of our citizens and our community."