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City to add three firefighters through prestigious FEMA grant

SEGUIN, Texas – The Seguin Fire Department will soon be three firefighters stronger thanks to winning a competitive FEMA grant. The Department of Homeland Security through FEMA has approved and funded the city’s application to pay for three new positions with a city match. The ‘Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response’ (SAFER) Grant will provide 75% of the new position salaries for two years and 35% for the third year for three entry-level firefighters.

“It is very exciting because we are able to increase our required staffing, and place a third ambulance into service 24/7,” said Chief Dale Skinner, SFD.

The SAFER grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments to help them increase or maintain the number of trained “front line” fire fighters available in their communities. The goal of the grant is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association.

Chief Skinner thanks the city’s grant coordinator, Dana Losey, for writing a winning application. The department had applied several times before, but was never selected until this year. It’s a very competitive process since you are competing against so many other cities who also need additional personnel. He says the new staffing level will keep residents safer since the department will be better able to respond during an emergency.

“It will increase the likelihood of having an ambulance in service, and available for response. Today, we rely heavily on private entities and surrounding departments as our back up which, in some cases, have an extended response time. The additional personnel on-duty will also allow for safer operations on emergency scenes,” said Skinner.