FEMA grants $2.7 million to Cranston for more firefighters

CRANSTON MAYOR ALLAN W. FUNG thanked Rhode Island's congressional delegation for its help in securing funding to help hire and retain 15 firefighter going forward. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
CRANSTON MAYOR ALLAN W. FUNG thanked Rhode Island's congressional delegation for its help in securing funding to help hire and retain 15 firefighter going forward. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

PROVIDENCE – Cranston’s fire department is receiving $2.7 million in federal grants to help add 15 firefighters to its staff.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant program, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is designed to help communities improve the level of service and public safety, according to U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., who announced the award Tuesday along with the rest of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation.

“I will continue doing everything I can at the federal level to help our dedicated firefighters protect our communities and improve emergency response capabilities,” said Reed.

The money is designed to pay roughly 75% of the annual cost of 15 full-time firefighters for two years in Cranston, and then 35% of the cost in year three of the cycle. The funding is part of $350 million in SAFER hiring and retention grants that were included in the 2019 federal appropriations law.

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“This investment in Cranston will allow us to fill currently vacant positions and reduce overtime costs,” said Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung. “This is another example of the importance of partnerships between the federal and local government making a difference in the lives of all Rhode Islanders.”

The SAFER program is focused on helping local fire departments keep up with the staffing, response and operational standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association. According to those guideline, at least four firefighters should be on the scene when responding to a fire.

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