Plymouth Township Fire Gets $1.33 Million Grant to Hire Firefighters

The grant will cover the costs to rehire six firefighters for two years.

The Plymouth Community Fire Department will soon have the means to recall six laid off firefighters to work, thanks to a $1.33 million grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Fire Chief Mark Wendel said the department applied for the grant this past August. 

"It's a staffing grant and what it's designed to do is put more firefighters back to work or hire more firefighters and put them in fire departments across the country," he said. "It's a competitive process with peer review. People in the fire industry take a look and determine who should and should not get these grants. We were lucky enough to be offered a grant."

The Plymouth Community Fire Department was notified Jan. 10 that they would be awarded a total of $1,331,694. However, the department only has 90 days from the date of notice to recall firefighters. 

The grant will cover all the costs associated with the hiring of the six firefighters for two years, including healthcare, pension costs and wages. It will not cover overtime.

The Plymouth Township Board of Trustees officially accepted the grant in a unanimous vote on Tuesday night. 

Wendel said his intention is to notify laid off firefighters and see who is interested in coming back to work. 

The grant stipulates that the department must first rehire laid off firefighters. If they still can't meet the six firefighters with rehires, then the department can move onto hire new firefighters, Wendel said. 

"Under the guidelines of the grant, the clock is ticking so to speak, it started Jan. 10," he said. "So we have to have these people in the station no later than April 10. My goal is to move as quickly as we can to get these people in the stations. Realistically, I would hope within 60 days. I'm trying to be optimistic." 

Township Supervisor Richard Reaume said there should be no problem meeting the 90 day window. 

SAFER grants provide funding directly to fire departments to assist them in increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire related hazards, and to fulfill traditional missions of fire departments.
Bryan Bentley (Editor) January 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM
A huge Thank You to Chief Wendel & the Captain whose hard work made us all safer here in Plymouth Township. This is a very positive step that allows the township government 2 years to come up with a plan to properly staff our Fire Department.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something