WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $405,101 to the Heath Fire Department for hiring through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program, which is a branch of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program.

“Ohio firefighters and first-responders work every day to protect our families,” said Brown. “We must support our first-responder organizations so that communities in Licking County have the resources to shield families and homes from fire hazards.”

SAFER is a federal grant program designed to better prepare recipients by helping them attain and maintain 24-hour fire department staffing. Funding goes toward recruiting and hiring frontline firefighters and creating favorable working conditions for volunteer firefighters. The ultimate goal of SAFER is to increase the number of trained and prepared firefighters capable of safely responding to emergencies in the area.

The AFG Program supports fire departments across the country to ensure the safety of both first-responders and the public. The program provides funds for supplemental training, upgrades to protective equipment, facility modifications, and other supplies that protect firefighters and first-responders in moments of crisis. Grants are awarded to fire department-based and non-affiliated EMS organizations that best address the priorities of the AFG Program. More information about the AFG Program can be found here.

Interested fire departments can contact Brown’s grant coordinator to receive information about federal grant opportunities by clicking here.