YPSILANTI – The Dearborn Heights and Ypsilanti Fire Departments will receive a combined $1 million grant to boost the number of firefighters in those communities.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) announced on Friday that the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grants will go directly to the local fire departments to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer staff to enhance the department’s ability to maintain a 24-hour firefighting force.
The Ypsilanti Fire Department will receive $667,429 and the Dearborn Heights Fire Department will receive $341,836. The SAFER grant program provides funding to help recipients maintain all-year-round fire department staffing and more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.
“When emergencies happen in our community, we know local firefighters will be the first on the scene to protect us,” said Dingell. “Firefighters and first responders go to work every day prepared to put their lives on the lines. This critical support for the Ypsilanti and Dearborn Heights Fire Departments will ensure our local first response agencies are properly staffed to serve our communities.”
The Dearborn Heights and Ypsilanti fire department chiefs hailed the grant opportunities as vital to protecting residents.
“These SAFER Grants have really bolstered our ability to reach the manpower we need to respond to each scene. With this grant, we will be adding three firefighters to our team, which you help us meet (National Fire Protection Association) NFPA 1710, a national standard for proper staffing levels at a fire or fire scene. The SAFER grants have gotten us through some dark financial times, and we are grateful to receive another this year,” said Dearborn Heights Fire Chief David Brogan.
“For us, this SAFER grant is huge! We are going to be able to hire 4 additional staff members for fire suppression, increasing our staff size to 21 total. This will make for better response teams for the entire Ypsilanti area (including Superior TWP especially), adding 2 responders per call. We appreciate these grant opportunities when they come around, and we’re very happy to receive it,” said Ypsilanti Fire Chief Max Anthouard.