Falls Fire Department, City Officials Consider Accepting $490,000 Grant

Depending on the terms of the grant set forth by the federal government, the city may or may not accept the money.

The good news is, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department with a $489,704 FEMA SAFER grant to potentially hire three new firefighters.

The bad news is, the department may not be able to accept the grant due to certain directives that may come down from the federal government concerning the period of time in which the money must be spent.

In previous years, grants such as these would run on a five-year cycle where the government would pay for the first four years of a new firefighter’s salary and the city would cover the fifth year, according to Cuyahoga Falls Assistant Fire Chief Fred Jackson.

This year, the cycle might switch to three years, meaning the department may have to absorb the salaries after two years versus four.

“(The cycle) is a huge point of information I need to know the details on before we proceed with accepting this money,” said Jackson.

During the July 16 City Council meeting, Mayor Don Robart addressed elected officials and said analysis needed to be done on the city’s end and that more details may be provided during Monday’s council committee meeting at the .

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

David Witner July 23, 2012 at 04:36 PM
As Union President of Local 494 Cuyahoga Falls Firefighters I applaud the City and their effort in applying for this grant and recognizing the lack of manpower currently on the fire department roster. I am delighted that we have received these funds and will be able to more safely serve the citizens of the City. I am also pleased that with the increased manning we will be able to respond with 3 firefighter/paramedics on each apparatus which will be both more effective and protect our providers. David Witner President, Local 494
Earl Elevant July 23, 2012 at 08:11 PM
It's time to bring both the fire and police departments back up to full strength in the Falls. The city has been cutting both departments' throats for many years now and it's the citizens who are suffering.
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