Wyandotte city officials are expected to vote Monday night to accept that will cover the costs of hiring four new firefighters for two years.
Wyandotte Fire Chief Jeffery Carley received word last month that his department had been chosen for the grant and now just needs the City Council's OK to hire the additional firefighters.
The three-member Wyandotte Police and Fire Commission voted unanimously in favor of the grant and are urging council members to do the same.
"The Police & Fire Commission enthusiastically recommends acceptance of this award," commissioners wrote in a letter to city officials. "This grant will enable the Fire Department to return to a staffing level of 28 firefighters, which will allow seven firefighters on duty for each shift. This staffing level will support a rapid and effective response to fire calls should two ambulances be engaged, and will also provide additional flexibility in staffing, a reduction in overtime expenses, more training opportunities and improved readiness across the department."
The funding will provide $351,292 in salaries and an additional $265,584 in benefits for the four firefighters, who would work from March 6, 2013 through March 5, 2015.
The money comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program. It's a part of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program, which is a competitive grant process to help ensure that fire departments nationwide have the frontline firefighters they need to protect their communities.
Carley said he originally applied for the SAFER grant in January 2012, but his request was turned down. He reapplied in August and this time, was successful.
"I'm ecstatic," Carley said.
City Administrator Todd Drysdale is in support of the city accepting the grant.
"After the expiration of the grant funding, the city will need to evaluate the necessity of these positions based on service delivery expectations, budgetary situation, and attrition within the department," he wrote in a letter to city officials. "There is no requirement to maintain the employment of these firefighters after the expiration of the grant funding and the city will not incur any legacy costs associated with the two-year employment period."