The University Place Fire Department was one of only six fire departments in the country to be awarded funding in the first round of FEMA grants for SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response). The SAFER grant is designed to assist fire departments in meeting their firefighting and emergency response needs through the hiring of additional firefighters.
An award of $975,000 was received with the funding to be disbursed over the next four years. This will allow the department to hire nine new firefighters in early 2009. With the additional firefighters, UPFD will be better able to meet national standards for providing adequate staffing on apparatus and on the fire ground. With the assistance provided by the SAFER grant, the department will be able to move its hiring plans forward from 2010 to 2009, while still maintaining its current financial plan.