Tucson Fire Department Awarded more than $5 million in Federal Grants
The Tucson Fire Department has been awarded more than $5 million in federal grants to provide faster turnaround times for crews following fires, grow the number of paramedics working in the area, and train more firefighters to serve the citizens of Tucson.
As part of a larger Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Tucson Fire will have two breathing air compressors installed at separate stations. These compressors are used to fill bottles for the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) worn by firefighters during a fire or other incidents which require fire crews to be on air. The addition of these compressors will allow fire crews to fill their tanks more efficiently and return to service faster.
The AFG will also cover funding for further education within our regional fire service. A paramedic class of 20 will bolster the number of highly trained medical professionals in our ranks able to perform Advanced Life Support (ALS) services in the field. The grant provides for additional funding for Fire Ground Survival (FGS) “Train the Trainer” classes, where members of the Tucson Fire Department will learn to instruct firefighters from across Southern Arizona in FGS tactics.
A Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant (SAFER) will allow the Tucson Fire Department to hire 13 additional firefighters, bringing the maximum number of active firefighters to 645. The 3-year grant is part of a larger plan by the department to increase the overall number of firefighters serving the city.
We appreciate the hard work done by Assistant Chief Lewis Harris in writing the grant applications, the support from our Finance Manager Will Knowles and his team, and the support from City Manager Mike Ortega for allowing us to pursue these opportunities.