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Worcester Fire Department Receives $8.6M SAFER Grant to Hire 30 Firefighters

For Immediate Release: 9/28/2023 4:53 pm

WORCESTER, Mass. – The City of Worcester has been awarded $8.6 million for the hiring of 30 firefighters to supplement the expansion of the Worcester Fire Department (WFD).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the award of a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant in the amount of $8.6 million, which is for the salaries of 30 new firefighters over the next three years.

“This additional funding from FEMA, following last year’s SAFER grant award, will allow the department to get closer to its authorized complement of 452 members and the department’s goal of four firefighters on every apparatus,” said Fire Chief Martin Dyer. “We thank FEMA for these investments in our department, which will ensure proper staffing and resources to safely and effectively serve our community.”

In September 2022, FEMA awarded the department $14.1 million to hire 60 firefighters. The department also received the Assistance to Firefighters Grant award for $806,000 to increase the department’s inventory of self-contained breathing apparatuses, personal radios, and turnout gear for new recruits.

This most recent SAFER award totals an approximately $23.6 million in FEMA grants to the WFD in the last two years.

“This is truly incredible news for our fire department,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “Our city continues to grow, and it is imperative that our fire department grows alongside. This funding allows us to continue to support staffing initiatives, as laid out in our strategic plan, and make important investments in resources to assure safety in our emergency responses. I want to thank our federal and state delegation, Mayor, and City Council for their support of public safety in our city.”

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