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LINCOLNTON, NC – Lincolnton Fire Department has been recognized as one of 384 fire departments nationwide to receive the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).
U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry visited the fire station on Wednesday, September 19 and presented department staff and City officials with a check for $244,457.00.
SAFER Grants were created to provide funding assistance directly to fire departments and volunteer fire departments to increase the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. According to FEMA’s website, the goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720).
“This grant will fill the gap in our department budget and get us to where we need to be with full-time staffing. As Lincolnton continues to grow so must we as emergency service personnel. This ensures the very best service is provided to our citizens” said Lincolnton Fire Chief Ryan Heavner.
“Our department has made several attempts in obtaining this grant, some have been successful and some not. Fortunately, this is our year. I’m blessed with an outstanding group of firefighters, one of those is Captain Rusty Reynolds. He took the initiative to help write and complete this grant. We would not be standing here with this large check today without his time and efforts,” said Chief Heavner.
The fire department must now complete the tasks associated with accepting federal grants and provide documentation including call volume and the hours worked by staff. The Lincolnton Fire Department responds to an average of 180 calls per month. In 2017, the department ended the year with 2,200 total calls with an average response time of five minutes. These calls include not only fire and rescue but also medical related incidences.
The department currently operates with seven employees per shift and has three shifts, not including administration. With the SAFER grant, operational staff will now have eight members per shift, bringing the department total to 42 (28 full-time and 14 part-time) and in compliance with NFPA standards.
Hiring will begin for the additional firefighter positions in the very near future. Be sure to check the City of Lincolnton website for more information.
Caption: Congressman Patrick McHenry presenting the SAFER grant check to members of the Lincolnton City Council and Lincolnton Fire Department.
Pictured left to right: Firefighter Tyler Russ, Councilman Roby Jetton, Fire Chief Ryan Heavner, U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry, Councilman Tim Smith, Captain Rusty Reynolds, Mayor Ed Hatley, Engineer Glen Floyd and Lincoln County Fire Marshal Rodney Emmett
Caption: Congressman Patrick McHenry signs a SAFER grant check for $244,457 at the Lincolnton Fire Department.