Making things SAFER: Marion Fire Department receives grant for additional staff

The new grant will add five additional paid firefighters to the Marion Fire Department.

The number of paid firefighters at the Marion Fire Department will soon increase thanks to funding from the FEMA SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant.

According to FEMA’s website, the grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities.

The SAFER grant will provide $504,254.50 in federal funding to the Marion Fire Department that will be used to add five additional paid firefighters to the department’s current staff of seven paid firefighters.

“This funding will allow us to have three firefighters per shift for 24-hour coverage after the new firefighters are hired,” said Chief Ray McDaniel. “During business hours Monday through Friday, the total number of paid staff on duty will increase to six personnel.”

McDaniel looks forward to the opportunities that the grant offers to the fire department and Marion’s citizens.

“This grant will enable us to have safer operations and be more efficient on fire scenes,” said McDaniel. “We will be able to conduct more training, preplans and fire hydrant inspections, and work toward lowering the insurance rate even more for the City of Marion and the Marion area.”

Over the next few months, the fire department will accept applications, interview candidates and select individuals for these new positions. For additional information about these positions, interested individuals can visit marionnc.org.

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