By Lawrence Capps, Police Chief and Interim PIO
The local leaders of many rapidly growing communities in North Carolina are often faced with a common challenge – how to ensure that public safety services are adequately expanding as their municipalities grow. The Town of Knightdale is no different.
In addition to funding their public safety services through normal revenue sources, the Town has actively pursued a number grants over the years in order to ensure those services are keeping pace. And just a few days ago, the Town of Knightdale Fire Department was awarded an extraordinary grant to help the Town do just that.
Town officials report their fire department was awarded a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant from the US Department of Homeland Security. The $343,000 grant provides funding that will bolster the fire department’s ability to better respond to emergencies and provide protection from fire and fire-related hazards.
“The goal of the SAFER Grant Program is to assist local fire departments with their staffing and deployment capabilities,” said Fire Chief, Tim Guffey. “This grant allows us to hire and fully fund three additional firefighter positions for the next two years, and helps us to address important staffing issues.”
Chief Guffey noted that the grant and the additional personnel it provides will allow the department to increase its staffing level from three-man crews to four-man crews. The added crew members will help ensure the department is meeting stringent OSHA, National Fire Protection Association and North Carolina Department of Insurance standards. Guffey also points out the benefit to both the community and his staff.
“With the addition of more personnel, our department will be even better prepared to respond to the needs of our community, while enhancing the safety of our firefighters.”
The Knightdale Fire Department is only one of 300 departments nationwide to be awarded this highly competitive grant. The Town of Knightdale hopes to begin advertising the new firefighter positions this fall, with a comprehensive hiring process to follow.
More information on the town fire department is online here.