WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $289,668 has been awarded to the Ross Township Fire Department in Butler County by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.

"Our first responders put their lives on the line every day across Ohio," said Brown. "These funds ensure that firefighters have the personnel and resources they need to perform their jobs safely."

SAFER grants bolster fire departments' ability to respond to fires and fire-related hazards, along with their overall level of preparedness.

These funds can be used for recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters and hiring firefighters. According to DHS, the SAFER grants are used to improve the ability of fire departments to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing and assure their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.  This includes increasing the number of frontline firefighters and rehiring firefighters who were laid-off as a result of the economy.