ALEXANDRIA, VA -Alexandria can hire more firefighters! The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently awarded the City of Alexandria more than $2.6 million in funding over a three-year period to improve Fire Department staffing, health and safety. This funding ensures that each Alexandria fire truck and engine will now carry a four-person crew.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, which provides $1.5 million over three years, will allow the Fire Department to add nine additional full-time Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians. These additional roles will complete the goal of having four-person staffing on each fire truck and engine in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 1710 guidelines. Nine new cadets have recently been hired to fill these positions, and are expected to complete training and other requirements by mid-2020. Local funding to continue these positions after the term of the grant will be included in future budget proposals to City Council. This will increase the number of fire trucks and engines with four-person staffing on all three shifts from 9 to 12.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant of $1,154,261.81 will fund various improvements to the Fire Department’s Health, Safety & Risk Management Division, including exercise equipment; additional firefighter/medic cancer screenings; early detection testing for heart disease, stroke and diabetes; behavioral health resources; firefighter/medic fitness and health resources; and increased annual physicals.