Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) supports the SAFER program
Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) has announced that Cowee Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Inc. in Franklin will receive $91,360 from the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which Hagan has supported in the Senate.
“This is going to be a good tool in keeping our volunteer fire fighters active and trained without the use of taxpayer money,” said Cowee Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Dustin Pendergrass.
“The courageous first responders at Cowee Volunteer Fire & Rescue help keep Franklin safe everyday,” Hagan said. “In this tough economy, this grant will help the fire department acquire and maintain volunteers, ensuring that there are always firefighters to answer the call and protect the community.”
“Cowee Volunteer Fire & Rescue, Inc. is very honored to receive the $91,360 through the FEMA Grant System,” said Pendergrass. “These funds will be used for the purposes of recruitment and retention of our volunteers.”
Pendergrass added that the grant will be divided evenly for four years, amounting to $22,840 every year. “This will give us some time to save money so in five years we will be able to operate more efficiently.”
SAFER grants enhance the ability of fire departments to acquire and maintain 24-hour staffing and help ensure communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. The objective of the program is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination and career fire departments to increase the number of frontline firefighters, and to rehire firefighters who have lost their jobs because of the economy.
Contributions by Davin Eldridge – Staff Writer