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The Springfield Fire Department has received notification of a grant award from the Department of Homeland Security, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program in the amount of $654,505, to add seven additional firefighters to the Fire Department.
The grant provides for the salaries and benefits for these positions for three years, with a local match of 25% the first two years and 65% in the third year, totaling $406,856. The total cost of adding the additional Firefighters for the three-year period is $1,061,361. The City expects to retain these positions at the end of the three-year grant cycle.
“This grant provides us the opportunity for an increase in staffing required for the possible addition of a new fire station in the West Central area of Springfield,” said Fire Chief David Pennington. Nine personnel were previously added through a SAFER award in 2011 as an incremental step toward staffing a West Central station.
“SFD identified a need for a new fire station in West-Central Springfield, and Insurance Services Office (ISO) confirmed the need,” Pennington said. ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPCTM) Program was developed to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties. “Insurance companies need reliable, up-to-date information about a community's fire-protection services, and ISO provides this information, assigning a rating to fire departments from 10 to 1, with “1” being the best,” he said. The City of Springfield Fire Department is one of seven in the state of Missouri that have an ISO Class 2 rating.
“Placing a new fire station in this area would significantly improve response times to the West Central area, and would have a significant effect on our standard of cover, impacting the delivery of emergency services throughout the community.” The standard of cover refers to the determination of whether a department is properly deployed to meet its community's risks and expectations.
City Council is expected to vote on whether to accept the grant at their regularly scheduled meeting Sept. 5, 2017.
If the grant is accepted, SFD will be required to fill the seven additional firefighter positions within 180 days.
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For more information, contact Fire Chief David Pennington at 417-874-2310.