Posted by: Elizabeth Harman, Assistant Administrator, Grant Programs
Phoenix, AZ, January 19, 2011 -- Elizabeth Harman greets members of Phoenix Fire Department recruit class 11-1 during a break from live fire training on January 19, 2011. The class of 28 firefighters is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant.
Last week, I visited Phoenix, Arizona to speak at the Labor Management Initiative Conference co-sponsored by the International Association of Fire Fighters and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. This conference encourages cooperation between labor and management to improve the level of service provided to the public. I was there to share the many types of grants that are available to fire departments and local governments through federal grant programs.
While visiting, I also spent time at the Phoenix Fire Department’s training facility to talk with the current firefighter recruit class. It was their first day of live fire training, and they were all pretty excited. These 28 young men and women are now able to provide critical services to their community because of funding through our Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program. Since 2008 budget constraints have prevented Phoenix from hiring firefighters, but the assistance made available through the SAFER Grants, has enabled the city to begin to train a new class of recruits.
It is encouraging to see the level of energy and appreciation in these young firefighters and to see the SAFER grant program at work. How have federal grant programs, like SAFER, made an impact on the emergency response capacity in your town? Leave a comment and let us know.