SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Southaven Fire Department received a $1.5 million grant to help the department hire more firefighters.
The grant is part of Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), a program stemming from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant is worth exactly $1,564,323.
FEMA created the program to assist fire departments across the country to reach staffing, response, and operational compliance standards.
The money will help the city hire 12 new firefighters over a three-year period. Southaven Fire Chief Roger Thorton said in February that these 12 will be hired for Fire Station No. 5, to be built in the area of Star Landing and Baptist Road.
"This added personnel will help us better serve the southern portion of our city and increase our overall emergency response capabilities," SFD's Malena Alderman said.
The grant requires the city of Southaven to provide 25 percent in matching funds for the first two years and 65 percent for the third year.
The department currently has 99 firefighters and 118 personnel in total.
The new firefighters will be based out of station four on Getwell Road and cover the southeastern part of the city until the fifth station can be built.
"We are looking to expand and grow our department to keep up with the city and its demands," Alderman said.
The 12 firefighters will be hired in January 2018.