WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita Fire Department (WFD) received $10.2 million in a Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The department applied for the grant earlier this year and got approved.

According to FEMA, “The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities.”

The WFD will use the money to hire more firefighters, get additional truck companies and add an additional firefighter to existing truck companies.

“The Wichita Fire Department applied for and received a little over $10 million to fund an additional hiring of 42 additional firefighters, and as a result, we’re going to place two additional truck companies in service, and we’ll also be able to add a fourth firefighter to our existing truck companies,” said WFD Chief Tammy Snow.

Snow says the new additions “will allow us [WFD] to improve the service that we deliver to the community and also improve our response times.”

“It’s going to keep our communities safer, it’s going to save more lives and give Chief Snow and the fire department the resources they need to make Wichita one of the top fire departments in the entire country,” said Mayor Brandon Whipple.