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.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All rights reserved.

7-year-old’s lemonade raises cash for German Valley firefighters

GERMAN VALLEY – German Valley Firefighters recently held their annual fundraiser, but it was a small donation that warmed their hearts and made the most of the smiles.

As firefighters were preparing for their annual fundraiser for the pork chop dinner at the German Valley Days festival, 7-year-old Taylor Geddes strolled up with a simple request.

“We were preparing for our dinner and she just went over to us and asked for one of our boots because she said she was going to set up a lemonade stand,” said German Valley Fire Chief Eric Bruning.

Taylor didn’t know any of the firefighters, but she took it upon herself to do something to help. Bruning gave her a firefighter boot and she set off to set up her stand.

Seeing an opportunity with a lot going on, she got to work.

“She has an entrepreneurial spirit, I think,” said her father, Kip.

More:She worked hard to be a role model for her daughter. Now she owns this Freeport boutique

Taylor found a lot of thirsty people that day, or maybe just a few people who wanted to support her ambition, because a little later she returned to the fire department with a trunk full of $ 31.

She said she had a plan when she and her father and mother loaded Annie into their car from their home in Ridott and headed for German Valley Days. But the plan was just to set up a lemonade stand on the spur of the moment. What she would do with the collected money had not yet been decided. When she had done her business for the day, she went to the fire department.

“I just decided to donate the money to them,” said Taylor.

More:“Now is my time”: women entrepreneurs are strengthening the retail scene in downtown Freeport

Bruning said all members of the fire department were touched by such a generous action and although they sold 1,700 pork chop sandwiches that day, it was Taylor’s $ 31 that got the most attention.

“She did it all by herself. We had a good audience for our fundraiser, but that was another $ 31 and we didn’t have to work for it,” he laughed.

He said the firefighters were more than grateful to Taylor for her desire to raise additional money for the department. Bruning said all of the money raised through the pork chop dinner – and Taylor’s lemonade stand – will be used to buy supplies needed for the department.

“The tax money we get is only for normal fire-fighting operations,” he said. “All of our fundraisers are for the extra equipment we need.”

Todd McKenna is a freelance correspondent