Tulsa Fire Department gets grant

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the City of Tulsa received a $9.5 million grant to hire 60 firefighters in the Tulsa Fire Department.

The SAFER grant will allow the City of Tulsa to hire 60 firefighters in the next 12 months instead of hiring the same amount of firefighters over a three-year period under the Vision Tulsa funding program.

“By hiring 60 new firefighters, the Tulsa Fire Department will be able to respond to calls and mitigate hazards in a shorter time frame,” Tulsa Fire Chief Ray Driskell said. “We anticipate these new positions will decrease injuries by supplying more firefighters on active fire scenes as identified by previous staffing studies and the National Fire Protection Association.”

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant is a FEMA administered, Department of Homeland Security program designed to increase the number of front-line, first responders in local communities.

“The role of our local firefighters is expanding to include everything from protecting critical infrastructure like inland ports and energy producers to being on the frontline of the battle against opioid abuse and addressing mental health issues,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma. “Partnering with our local emergency response agencies is fundamental to our national security efforts.”

The Tulsa Fire Department is a full-spectrum, all-hazards response agency that not only protects the citizens and properties of Tulsa, but has more than 20 service agreements with neighboring cities, townships, tribes and commercial entities.

“It’s great once again to see the Tulsa Fire Department receive a SAFER Grant Award to assist in their efforts to serve their surrounding communities,” said U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma. “TFD plays an integral role in the Tulsa area in responding to emergencies and fires around the clock. I’m grateful to see TFD receive the assistance necessary to continue their important work serving the members of their community.”

Grant costs will be divided between FEMA and the City of Tulsa over three years. FEMA is responsible for funding 75 percent of the first two years of the SAFER grant and 35 percent for the third year. Over the course of three years, FEMA’s share is approximately $5.9 million and the city’s share is approximately $3.6 million.