Fresno Hearth Division hiring 42 firefighters with new grant cash

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – The Fresno Fire Department will soon have over 40 new firefighters on its team.

The much-needed help is thanks to a scholarship that the department just received this week.

Almost 32,000 service calls and 5,000 fires – that is what the Fresno Fire Department has been confronted with since the beginning of 2021.

“This fire department is a great group of men and women who answer calls every day, regardless of their size,” said Kerri Donis, Fresno chief fire officer.

With only 81 firefighters on duty every day, they work with almost the same number of staff as in 1980, but a newly awarded SAFER scholarship adds 42 recruits to the team.

“The SAFER grant will cover 100% of the salary and social benefits of the fire fighters over a period of three years,” explained Donis. “To give the city time to cover these costs.”

This also increases the daily workforce to 95 firefighters on duty.

“Moving the needle to 95 is a big leap forward,” said Donis. “Most subway fire departments our size run around 120-140 a day, so we still have a long way to go, but that’s a big leap.”

The department applied for the $ 12.6 million grant earlier this year and says the additional funding will allow them to better serve their citizens and protect the safety of firefighters.

“By May 2022 we will all have 42 in the field and deploy more emergency teams, more firefighters and better reaction times,” Donis continues.

You went through the application process with the first grade from October.

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