CFD receives $1M grant; plans to hire 12 firefighters
by Mark Ledbetter
CHILDERSBURG — Thanks to a grant from Homeland Security, the Childersburg Fire Department will be hiring 12 firefighters over the next 90 days.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-District 3, announced Thursday the Fire Department has been awarded a grant from Homeland Security for $1,181,700 to help insure Childersburg residents receive adequate fire protection.

In a press release, Rogers announced the grant was awarded under the Fiscal Year 2012 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program. The goal of the grant is to assist the Childersburg Department “attain and maintain 24-hour staffing.”

“Talladega County’s first responders are our first line of defense,” Rogers said. “I congratulate the men and women of Childersburg Fire and Rescue Department for receiving this grant, and hope it will ultimately help increase the safety for all local citizens.”

Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Monroe said the grant would be used to hire six replacement and six new firefighter and emergency medical personnel. He said the new hires would fill badly needed positions in the department.

Because of attrition and economic circumstances, Monroe said the department has needed to replace six firefighters for some time, and the grant will provide funds for their replacements. The grant will also provide funds for hiring six new personnel and allow the department to run with six firefighters per shift rather than four.

“This will help with response tremendously,” Monroe said. “With 50 percent more staff than present, we will be better able to meet our mission.”

Monroe said the grant would allow the department to conform to the National Fire Standard Association’s department staffing standards.

Monroe also said the grant adds another incentive by offering additional funds for post-9/ll hiring of veterans. “We will be target recruiting and retaining veterans,” Monroe said.

Monroe has written nine grants for the Childersburg department, and since 2004 the department has received over $2 million in funds, allowing the department to purchase three new vehicles, turn-out gear, breathing apparatus and other equipment.

Monroe said Rogers informed him that five departments in Alabama have received SAFER grants, two from his district – Jacksonville in 2005, and now Childersburg.

“I am pleased to see the federal government is continuing to make these types of investments in the Third District,” Rogers said.

“We’ve done very well for a city our size,” Monroe said.

Over the next 90 days, Monroe said the department would be looking to hire 12 new firefighters. He said applicants must meet SAFER certification requirements. Individuals interested in applying can call the Fire Department at 256-378-7062 for information.

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© 2013