A federal grant of $1.27 million will allow the Manteca Fire Department to hire six new firefighters.
Manteca Fire Chief Kirk Waters said he is “super excited” about the funding that is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) known as the SAFER Grant. Waters said the grant will go a long way to improve the safety of Manteca firefighters and to make the city a safer place for citizens.
Waters noted that the grant allows for full funding of salary and benefits for six firefighters over a two-year period with no matching fund requirement by the city. With over 15 fire department members eligible to retire in the next few years and the design for a new station in progress at Woodward Avenue and Atherton Drive – the timing couldn’t be better, he added.
The chief credited Fire Captain Travis Gooch for being instrumental in writing the grant, saying it was a “job well done.”
The SAFER Grant is an effort by FEMA to help fire agencies achieve the National Fire Protection Agency standard for fire department deployment.
“I would like to publicly thank Mayor (Steve) DeBrum and Council members for their support of the public safety in our community,” Waters said. “Our good mayor and council actually met with FEMA representatives on their recent trip to Washington, D.C., and were advocates for the Manteca Fire Department receiving this generous grant for six firefighters.”
He also thanked the council for meeting with Congressman Jeff Denham about the need for the grant. Waters said it was truly a team effort with members of the city finance department and the human resources department for crunching and providing numbers that they could use in their grant request.
The chief specifically named Finance Director Suzanne Mallory and her competent crew along with Human Resources Director Joe Kriskovich and their staff at city hall.
“It was truly a team effort,” he said.
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