TAUNTON —Chief Timothy Bradshaw is pleased to announce that the Taunton Fire Department was awarded a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant that will support increased staffing for the department.
Distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the SAFER Grant provides funding for fire departments to assist them in maintaining industry staffing standards and ensuring communities and firefighters receive adequate protection while operating at emergency scenes.
Taunton Fire was awarded $2,339,131 — which will be administered over three years — to hire seven full-time firefighters, increasing firefighter safety and service to the community. The grant is anticipated to be accepted by the Taunton City Council at the next council meeting on Monday, Sept. 20.
The $2,339,131 grant will cover 100% of the personnel expenses associated with the cost of hiring seven new full-time firefighters, including the City of Taunton’s portion of their health insurance and pension liabilities, with no matching cost required from the city.
“On average, we respond to approximately 11,000 calls for service annually. With the use of these funds, we will be able to adequately staff every front line engine company in our department and meet the National Fire Protection Association 1710 requirement of delivering 15 firefighters to the initial response of a structure fire,” Chief Bradshaw said. “I would like to thank everyone who assisted throughout the application process, specifically Lt. Greg Karsner, Lt. Kevin Farrar and City of Taunton Grant Coordinator TJ Torres. Additionally, the Department would also like to thank Congressman Jake Auchincloss for his letter of support for our SAFER application. I would also like to personally thank Mayor O’Connell for her continued support of the fire service. Thanks to everyone’s collaborative effort we will continue to respond to any emergency effectively and efficiently.”
The Taunton Fire Department also received SAFER Grants in 2012 and 2016 in the amount of $1.35 million and $1.34 million respectively to hire additional firefighters.