Avalon seeks FEMA funds for more FD staff

File photo

The Avalon City Council this week unanimously authorized staff to apply for a grant for FEMA funds for more Avalon Fire Department staff.

FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant “will distribute approximately $360 million to 300 agencies,” according to the staff report.

This wasn’t a Consent Calendar item, but it came at the end of a more than one-hour meeting and council had no questions for staff—so it passed immediately.

The deadline to apply for the grant is March 17.

“The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant is a competitive grant created to provide funding directly to fire departments to increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available to the community,” according to the staff report by Fire Chief Michael Alegria and Management Analyst Devin Hart.

“The Fire Department has a stated goal to increase full-time staffing by three firefighters,” according to the staff report.

The funding provided by the SAFER grant would provide the baseline salary and benefits for the additional personnel for a three-year period. After three years, the City would have the opportunity to absorb the costs of the additional personnel; or eliminate the positions,” according to the Alegria/Hart report.

“The additional personnel would be distributed to each shift — creating [a] four-man shift. The City currently utilizes a three-man shift. The advantage of a four-man shift is the fire engine will be able to operate without delays. A captain and engineer team will be available to staff the engine while the firefighters could staff the ambulance,” according to the report.