FEMA grant adds staff for Great Bend fire department

A federal grant will allow the Great Bend Fire Department to increase staffing with minimal impact on the city’s budget, the City of Great Bend stated.

According to a press release: the department received a $322,359 SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant that will allow for an additional three firefighters. The FEMA grant will raise the number of personnel on each shift from eight to nine.

“This SAFER grant is such a blessing to our department,” retired fire chief Mike Napolitano said in the release. “For the past two years, Battalion Chief Eugene Perkins and I have been looking for ways to help fund extra personnel without putting the burden on the city’s budget.”

The grant will pay 75 percent of the firefighters’ wages and benefits for the first two years and 35 percent for the third year, according to the release.

(Read more: Local – The Hutchinson News)