The Aberdeen Board of Commissioners approved a federal grant from the Department Of Homeland Security to assist in funding six new firefighter positions during the Commissioners Monday night work session.
According to Fire Chief Phillip Richardson the department received official notice September 1st that the town had been awarded a 3-year grant to add six additional firefighter positions to the department.
The SAFER Grant for Staffing, Adequate Equipment, Fire and Emergency Response provides money to the department specifically for the addition of staff for the busy fire district.
The grant totaling $486,611.00 is paid out over a three year period with the federal government paying 75% of the cost for the six new fire positions the first year, 75% again the second year, and 35% the 3rd and final year. To continue the positions beyond the three year period would require additional funding.
The cost to the Town of Aberdeen for these six positions over the three year period is estimated to be $302,491.00
Chief Richardson stated that these new positions would add two additional paid firefighters to each of the departments 24 hour shifts beginning the first of the year.
Over the past ten years the Aberdeen department has applied for and been awarded grants totaling $1,992,696.00 for a variety of service improvement purposes including equipment and personnel.
Aberdeen Fire Department operates a main fire station on US Highway 1 in Aberdeen, as well as a substation located on NC Highway 211 serving the Crestline District. Currently to date in 2017 the department has ran over 1,300 calls for assistance.