A grant was accepted at last evening’s Prosper Town Council meeting designed to enhance public safety by covering a significant portion of the initial cost of additional staffing at the Fire Department.
The Fire Department grant, awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is part of the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) program and will partially fund the addition of six firefighter/paramedics for three years. The grant will cover 75% of the salaries for the first two years, and 35% in the final third year. At $919,257.60, the grant is among the largest SAFER grants awarded to the Town.
Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame says the grant will assist Prosper in ramping up hiring in anticipation of the delivery of the Town’s ladder truck.
“Our responsibilities as a Fire Department grow at the same pace as the Town grows,” he said. “Providing the highest level of fire protection to the residents, homeowners, and businesses of Prosper is our primary concern, and counting on the proper staffing with qualified personnel is critical to our function.”
Anticipating the imminent arrival of the Town’s ladder truck, the department will require the additional staffing to ensure the proper operation of that piece of firefighting equipment. While the Town has taken advantage of a ladder truck on loan from the manufacturer, the department’s own ladder truck is expected to arrive within the next few months.
Federal and state grants for public safety are an important part of the available array of financial support that municipalities can apply for on an annual basis.