PRINCE GEORGE, Va. — Thanks to two grant programs, Prince George County Fire & EMS will receive more than $1.4 million to fund new positions and enhance their volunteer program.
Prince George was awarded the grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.
The grants totaled $1,468,203.
“Under the hiring of firefighters category, the County was notified on July 28, 2017 of a $611,099 grant award over the next three years to fund five new positions,” said a Prince George County spokesperson. “Under the recruitment and retention of volunteers category, the County was notified on September 1, 2017, of an $857,104 grant award over four years to fund programs aimed to enhance the volunteer program operating under the County’s coordinated Fire and EMS system.”
The goal of the SAFER program is to improve the local fire departments’ ability to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards.
Prince George was previously awarded with a grant through SAFER in 2014.
Director of Fire and EMS Brad Owens said the department will immediately work to fill positions and develop strategies to recruit new volunteers and retain current volunteers.
“We are excited about the possibilities this funding will bring to enhance our overall system,” said Owens. “We need more volunteers and staffing to help provide an adequate number of trained personnel in a timely manner to the citizens when they need us.”