Just when things were starting to looking fiscally grim, as news broke that the Montgomery Fire/Rescue (MFR) Department had shockingly exceeded its overtime budget by over $2M thus far in 2018, the city was awarded a much-needed federal grant that will help keep operations running smoothly.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby on Tuesday announced the $3,553,843 award as a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.
“The funding will ensure the city has the proper resources and staff to adequately respond to emergency medical, fire, and rescue incidents throughout the area. I am proud that FEMA has awarded this SAFER grant to facilitate increased safety and security in the City of Montgomery,” said Shelby.
As of mid-August, MFR had spent $2.2 million on overtime. That amounts to $2,079,470 more than expected, or 1,411 percent over budget. The $3.5 million grant will be used to help hire additional firefighters and first responders over a three year period to achieve and maintain proper staffing levels.
“We could not be more grateful to Sen. Richard Shelby for his role in helping Montgomery secure this SAFER grant to increase the number of firefighters who serve and protect our capital city,” said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. “The additional 33 firefighters provided by this grant will help us meet the increasing demand for suppression and emergency medical services. Sen. Shelby’s support for this grant award speaks to his abiding commitment to the public’s safety and his unflagging work on behalf of our city and state.”
SAFER grants are awarded to fire departments and national, state, local, tribal, or territorial organizations that represent the interests of firefighters.