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Wichita Fire Department looks for more funding

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - The Wichita Fire Department is set to ask city council to approve the department's application for more funding during today's city council meeting.

The funding would come from the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant Program.

Fire officials said some of the positions on the fire department are currently funded through the SAFER grant, but it expires in December.

 "What we're doing is asking to renew that grant," explained Fire Chief Tammy Snow.

The goal of the grant program is to assist local fire department with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to effectively respond to emergencies.

According to Snow, the department isn't meeting its performance measures.

If awarded the grant, the fire department would be able to hire 12 new firefighters. In addition, it would fund a new truck for one of the northeast Wichita fire stations. This specific firefighting vehicle has a ladder and bucket.

The fire department has a limited number of these types of trucks, making response times challenging on the northeast side, said Snow.

"We only have one on the east side and then we have one downtown," she said. "For either one of those to respond out into that new area, which continues to have growth, we're not meeting the eight minute response time. We're exceeding that."

According to staff reports, the SAFER grant requires a local match during the grant's three-year performance period. 

The city's match for years one and two is 25-percent, while the third year match is 65-percent.

The salary and benefits for 12 firefighters for the three-year period is $2,574,252. The city's match for the grant for the three-year period is a total of $1,000,164.60

Year One

  • Salary/Benefits for 1 firefighter - $68,584
  • Salary/Benefits for 12 firefighters - $823,008
  • SAFER grant funding - $617,256
  • City's match - $205,752

Year Two

  • Salary/Benefits for 1 firefighter - $71,645
  • Salary/Benefits for 12 firefighters - $859,740
  • SAFER grant funding - $644,805
  • City's match - $214,935

Year Three

  • Salary/Benefits for 1 firefighter - $74,292
  • Salary/Benefits for 12 firefighters - $891,504
  • SAFER grant funding - $312,026.40
  • City's match - $579,477.60

The city council will meet at 9 a.m. in the council chambers.

 

 

 


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