By Carolyn Marnon – The City of Wayne’s application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a grant to fund six firefighter positions for two years was approved. $994,848 from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant program (SAFER) will bring the department’s numbers from 12 to 18. “I am ecstatic that the City received this grant because it will allow us to properly staff our department and take the pressure off of our current personnel,” said Wayne Mayor Susan Rowe.
Wayne operates a joint fire department with Westland. Currently, the understaffed Wayne Fire Department is using overtime to meet daily minimum staffing. “It is incredible to see that the Federal Emergency Management Agency recognized the critical role Wayne’s firefighters play in our community’s safety,” said Wayne Fire Captain Fred Gilstorff. “By providing us with this essential funding over the next two years, we can properly staff the fire station.”
U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow applauded the $994,848 in assistance for the Wayne Fire Department to support the recruitment and retention of firefighters. “When an emergency situation arises, it is imperative that we have enough first responders on the job to protect our families and communities,” said Senator Peters. “This funding will help the Wayne Fire Department be fully staffed and prepared in case of an emergency and ensure the safety of the community and their firefighters.” “Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect our families, homes, and communities,” said Senator Stabenow. “These resources will help the Wayne Fire Department make sure there is always someone there to answer the call in an emergency.”
The SAFER program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and works to strengthen communities’ ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards and improve the nation’s overall level of preparedness, including maintaining 24-hour staffing.