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Nashville Fire Department receives SAFER grant
The Town of Nashville was recently notified that they have received the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, Grant.

The grant, if accepted, will provide funding for the hiring of two additional full-time fire fighters.

The SAFER Grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer fire interest organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained “front-line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of the grant is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards. SAFER funds assist local fire departments to increase their staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies when they occur.

Federal funding will cover the cost of hiring the two full-time employees for two years. The Town of Nashville is required to pick up those costs for the third year. The grant would pay $168,867 over the first two years.

Being able to hire two additional staff members will allow the department to replace its brush truck with a multi-purpose vehicle. That vehicle will serve as a brush truck and EMS vehicle, handling first responder calls. The multi-purpose vehicle will also handle wildland calls.

The two additional personnel would work 24-hours shifts, Monday through Friday. The multi-purpose vehicle would then be utilized to responding to medical events, preventing as much wear and tear on the engine truck which currently makes those calls. Currently, around 70 percent of the department’s calls are medical calls.

The town has not officially accepted the grant funding yet. Town Manager Preston Mitchell said staff are currently working on the town’s upcoming budget and wanted to be sure the town would be able to take on the cost after the first two years. Until that was decided, Mitchell said he and Nashville Fire Chief Tim Pope would not feel comfortable commenting on the grant.

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