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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the Broken Arrow Fire Department a $1,486,320 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to hire eleven (11) new firefighters.
“The Broken Arrow Fire Department made a promise to citizens, that if they passed the Vision 2025 sales tax renewal, we would increase our staffing level by 20 firefighters. Because of this SAFER grant and the one we received last year, we're able to deliver on that promise three years earlier than anticipated,” said Fire Chief Jeremy Moore.
The 2015 SAFER grant will provide 100 percent funding for salaries and benefits of eleven entry level firefighters for a period of two years. This performance period begins February 1, 2017, and will conclude on January 31, 2019.
During the two-year performance period, the Broken Arrow Fire Department will be required to maintain the staffing level that existed at the time of the award, in addition to the SAFER-funded positions. The current staffing level is 156, with an authorized strength of 162. A hiring process is currently underway, and the goal will be to hire 17 new cadets with an expected start date of February 1, 2017. Of the 17 cadets, eleven of the new firefighters will be funded by the SAFER grant, increasing the authorized strength to 173. With the renewal of the Vision 2025 sales tax, the City has the necessary funding available to retain these new firefighters when the SAFER grant expires.