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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the Broken Arrow Fire Department a $1,090,791 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to hire nine (9) new firefighters. The grant will bring the Fire Department closer to its authorized staffing level, so that it can continue to provide superior fire protection and advanced medical care to the citizens of Broken Arrow.
The 2014 SAFER grant will provide 100 percent funding for salaries and benefits of nine (9) entry level firefighters for a period of two years. This performance period begins February 21, 2016, and will conclude on February 20, 2018.
“The SAFER grant is a windfall for the Fire Department and will allow us to put nine new firefighters on the streets immediately,” said Fire Chief Jeremy Moore. “We are hopeful that voters will approve the Vision 2025 extension on November 10, which will provide the dedicated funding to retain these firefighters when the grant funds expire in 2018.”
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 141, with an authorized strength of 153. A hiring process is currently underway, and the goal will be to hire 21 new cadets with an expected start date of November 2, 2015. Of the 21 cadets, nine (9) of the new firefighters will be funded by the SAFER grant increasing the authorized strength to 162. Upon completion of the two year performance period, the City of Broken Arrow is under no obligation to retain the positions funded by the SAFER grant. If the citizens of Broken Arrow vote to approve the Vision 2025 extension, sufficient funding would exist to retain these new employees.