DeKalb County Fire Department Receives $190K Federal Grant

When there is an emergency, fire stations should have the necessary staff and personnel to properly respond. Today, Congressman Bart Gordon announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $190,000 to the DeKalb County Fire Department for recruitment of volunteer firefighters.
“Countless lives are saved every day by the courageous efforts of first responders – our nation’s firefighters, EMTs, and police officers,” said Congressman Gordon who is a member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. “This DHS grant will allow the DeKalb County Fire Department to staff up and do an even better job than they are already doing.”
The grant was awarded through the DHS Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The program was developed to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment to improve their ability to protect the public and emergency personnel from fires and related hazards.
The DeKalb County Fire Department will receive the $190,000 grant incrementally over the next 4 years and use the funds to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and personnel.
“We’re excited about this. We’ve been struggling with recruitment and retention of volunteers,” Chief Donny Green said.
The DeKalb County Fire Department plans to use billboards and media advertisements to expand the 72 all-volunteer countywide department. The department currently serves 11 stations in DeKalb County. “That’s a little less than seven firefighters per station, and with volunteers, half are at work or out of town,” explained Chief Green. “We really need 40-50 more volunteers.”
Retention incentives include fuel reimbursement of $10 per call and payment of $200 at the end of the year to each firefighter who attends 75 percent of monthly training drills or $400 for 100 percent of all training.

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