Grant enables Westport to rehire two firefighters

The Westport Fire Department has received notification that it has been awarded $244,483 under a 2012 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.

The purpose of this SAFER grant is to provide funding for rehiring of laid-off firefighters and positions lost through attrition.

The Westport Fire Department will use the funds it has received to rehire firefighter Adam Silva who was laid off on September 2, and to replace a firefighter position lost by attrition in 2010,  Fire Chief Brian Legendre said.

The SAFER grant fully funds these two positions for 24 months with no cost share to the town, the chief said.

“The return of these two firefighter positions will return to department to full staffing for the first time in 2 years,” he added.

Chief Legendre said the grant announcement came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The goal of the SAFER program is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies, assuring communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards, the chief said.

“Ultimately, SAFER grantees should achieve more efficient responses and a safer incident scene.”

With the award of this grant the Westport Fire Department has received over 1.2 million in federal funds over the past 10 years.

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