Mayor Chris Beutler and Fire Chief Micheal Despain announced today that Lincoln Fire and Rescue (LFR) has been awarded a federal grant to help pay for 15 additional firefighters/paramedics. The three-year, $2,268,258 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant (SAFER), is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"The added personnel will help staff the new fire stations slated to open in 2019 and 2020 and will augment staffing in areas experiencing the highest frequency of fires and other emergency incidents," Beutler said. "Other benefits include helping lower fire loss, putting downward pressure on local fire insurance premiums, and providing a more reliable level of medical care to areas surrounding the downtown and southeast Lincoln."
Matching funds required by the grant were included in the current biennial budget. The SAFER grant will pay for 75 percent of the salaries and benefits for the first two years and 35 percent of those costs in the third year.
"This grant will be a tremendous investment in LFR's ability to provide improved service at no additional cost while at the same time being confronted with a call volume rising three times that of our population growth," Despain said.
More information on LFR is available at fire.lincoln.ne.gov.