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Rural VFDs should consider SAFER

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  • Rural VFDs should consider SAFER

    I encourage volunteer departments who are struggling with recruitment and retention issues to consider writing a SAFER grant. I did this for our department last year and we were awarded $54K to recruit, train, and retain members over the next 4 years. There was no match required and I believe the program is already helping us. We have our first two recruits in school now. Our goal is to add 8 over the four years and to develop programs to bolster retention at the same time. We are a strictly volunteer department which provides fire and EMR services to our community which is home to 1,000 residents. I travel extensively throughout rural parts of the midwest and everywhere I go I hear the same issues facing fire departments... we just cannot find new members and we struggle to keep good members around. SAFER can help. It isn't the cure-all but it can be one important ingredient in addressing the overall staffing issues we are facing due to gentrification, urban-migration, and competition for time in the lives of potential new recruits. The vast majority of the fire departments in our country are staffed by volunteer or paid-on-call members. I am here to tell you that FEMA knows we are in trouble and is willing to consider making grant support available as we work to identify solutions so our communities can continue to have fire, rescue, and EMS services.
    Last edited by Mawe7; 02-13-2019, 12:17 PM.

  • #2
    I'm the grant writer for our VFD that serves a few thousand folks and had been considering how we could apply and utilize the SAFER grant. Can I send you a DM to discuss what you did for your department? Curious the types of programs, outreach, etc that you are using.

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    • #3
      I was fortunate to get $150,028 for my department. Awarded August 2018. This was my first time going for this grant for our department and we were successful. I'm willing to share some thoughts and ideas, feel free to email me:

      Labrie85@gmail.com

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      • #4
        FireWX I would be glad to share what I wrote into you SAFER grant. Send me a DM and I will get back to you.

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