Albemarle County Fire Rescue receives grant funding for firefighter staff
Albemarle County Fire Rescue was recently awarded a $1.9 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to hire and train 10 full-time firefighters.
The grant will allow the department to address Albemarle County’s emergency service needs by adding and adjusting staffing locations throughout the county.
The SAFER grant was created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide funding directly to fire departments to help increase or maintain the number of trained, front line firefighters available in their communities.
The goal of SAFER is to enhance local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Prevention Association.
As planned during the budget process, the grant supports 10 of the 22 new positions to be hired, trained, and put into service over the next year. Service enhancements include paramedics at the Ivy and Pantops stations on a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week basis, and career engine companies at the Crozet and Pantops stations to support volunteer services.
A series of recruit schools are underway to hire and train staff for these positions. The first of the schools graduated in June, while the second school is currently in progress with a class of 14 recruits.
The third school is scheduled to begin in January.