Liberty Township awarded $1.9 million SAFER grant

JIM FISCHER
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Liberty Township has been awarded a $1,953,736 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The grant will fully fund salary and benefits for six new firefighter/paramedics for three years, according to township officials.

The amount is the third-largest nationwide in this SAFER grant award cycle, according to the township.

“We are honored to have been selected to receive this highly competitive grant and for the opportunity to bring on these additional firefighters to the department,” fire Chief Tom O’Brien said in a press release.

“I feel a little like a kid on Christmas morning,” trustee Shyra Eichhorn said. “This is a huge win for our community.”

Eichhorn said trustees had encouraged township staffers in meetings earlier this year to pursue additional sources of funding for township services.

The SAFER grant program was created to provide funds directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter-interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained “front line” firefighters available in their communities, according to FEMA’s website.

“Over my seven years of service on the board of trustees, Liberty Township residents have sent a clear message that they expect excellent local and safety-service delivery using creative funding mechanisms,” Eichhorn said. “This is an example of the fire department rising to that mandate and improving service for our residents.”

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