The Benson Fire Department has received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for $374,976 as part of the federally funded SAFER Initiative, also known as Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.
The grant will be used for recruitment and retention of Benson’s Volunteer Firefighter force, and will be allotted to the Benson Fire Department over a 4 year period. Benson is one of only six communities in North Carolina to receive a FEMA SAFER Grant this year. The other communities are Candler, Greensboro, Harrisburg, Rocky Point, and Wilson.
FEMA will provide 100 percent funding for the $374,976 amount, and requires no matching funds from the Town of Benson government.
“I am very pleased that we were one of the few fire departments in North Carolina chosen to receive this grant,” said Benson Fire Chief Alan Johnson. “These funds will be very valuable in our efforts to recruit, and maintain, our great volunteer firefighting staff. This will help us tremendously over the next four years as we continue to provide emergency services to the Benson area on a very efficient budget.”
FEMA states that their goal for the SAFER Grants is “to provide funding 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. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Agency.”