Kannapolis fire department gets grant for more firefighters

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 19, 2012

KANNAPOLIS – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the Kannapolis Fire Department a “Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response” (SAFER) grant.
According to Kannapolis Fire Chief Ernie Hiers, “This grant will improve the Fire Department’s staffing and deployment capabilities so we can more effectively respond to emergencies. I am excited that the department is receiving the SAFER grant, as it will enable us to enhance the level of service provided to the community by ensuring we have adequate staffing..
A specific number of firefighters are typically needed on an active fire scene to allow for the rescue of trapped victims and for the suppression of the fire itself. In recent years, the fire department has increased its staff, but due to economic constraints, has not been able to reach nationally recommended levels. This grant will bring the Kannapolis Fire Department closer to meeting those standards, allowing for a more effective and efficient fire ground operation.
The increase in staffing will also allow the department to place a second ladder in service in the western part of the city, which is being served by the ladder company located in North Kannapolis at Fire Station 1. The newly placed ladder will cover the Kannapolis Parkway corridor, as well as Davidson Highway.
City Manager Mike Legg explains, “Receiving this grant is going to have a great impact on our entire community. Enhancing the quality of life and ensuring the overall safety of our residents continue to be top priorities for the city. The fire department, like many other city departments, is in great need of additional personnel to keep up with the demand for services, and this grant is going to make those additions possible. We anticipate response times to improve and overall ability of the department to serve the community to greatly increase.”
One hundred percent of the actual salary and benefits for the SAFER-funded firefighters will be fully funded for the two-year period of performance.