Tacoma Fire Dept. awarded $3.4M grant

The Tacoma Fire Department has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program to fund up to 20 front-line firefighter positions for two years.

The grant requires the new firefighters must replace firefighters who have recently retired or who have officially notified the department they will be retiring later this spring. The fire department could begin hiring and training new firefighters this spring.

“The grant allows us to hire new firefighters, but does not add new firefighter positions or expand our current deployment model,” said Tacoma Fire Chief James Duggan. “While the grant does not provide funding to re-open the station that was closed as part of the 2013-14 budget process, it is a significant step toward maintaining our current staffing levels into the 2015-16 biennium.”

The SAFER grant is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Tacoma City Council still needs to adopt a resolution to formally accept the grant.