The City of Lincoln has decided not to accept the SAFER grant to hire nine firefighters.
The grant is offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help communities hire firefighters. The Beutler Administration applied for the grant in March and was notified August 12 that Lincoln's application was accepted.
After conversations between the Administration and each of the City Council members, there does not appear to be consensus to move forward on the SAFER grant. The Administration will inform FEMA today that the City will not accept the grant.
The Mayor and the City Council agreed to add six firefighter paramedics intended to staff a seventh ambulance as part of the City's 2016-18 budget. According to Fire Chief Micheal Despain, placing a seventh ambulance on duty is Lincoln Fire & Rescue's highest priority, and the SAFER grant could not have been used to pay for additional ambulance staffing.