Higgins Announces Over $9.8 Million to Support the Hiring of Buffalo Firefighters
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that a federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program has been awarded to the City of Buffalo for the hiring of firefighters. The grant is for a total of $9,806,400 and administered by DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Congressman Higgins said: “Buffalo is home to an incredible team of firefighters who work tirelessly and around the clock to respond to emergencies across the City. This federal funding will go a long way toward supporting and strengthening the team of professionals eager to answer that call.”
The SAFER program provides federal funding towards salaries and benefits for professional fire departments and volunteer departments toward efforts to hire and retain firefighters. These federal resources are aimed at making sure that communities have adequate staffing available to protect the health and safety of the public, towards the goal of having teams available 24-hours a day to fight fires and respond to emergencies. This fiscal year, Congress approved a total of $350 million in funds for the SAFER program. In evaluating which applicants receive grants, a non-partisan selection committee of firefighter peers considers the project description, impact on daily operations, financial need, and cost/benefit of each proposal.
Last month Congressman Higgins announced a separate $322,000 fire grant for the City of Buffalo Fire Department for training and equipment.
Congressman Higgins has supported funding for the SAFER program in the past, and in recent years Western New York has received millions of dollars in SAFER grants to help local fire departments, including Lackawanna and Tonawanda, with hiring, recruitment, and retention.