A $3.4 million grant has been awarded to the city of New Braunfels to fund hiring additional full-time firefighters over the next three years.

The grant from the federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program is funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The details

The SAFER grant is created to provide direct funding to fire departments to increase or maintain the number of trained front-line firefighters who are ready to be dispatched in communities. The goal of the program is to enhance local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards that have been established by the National Fire Protection Association. The SAFER program has distributed more than $5.2 billion in funding across the county since it started in 2005, according to a news release.

“This is the first time the New Braunfels Fire Department has been selected for the SAFER grant program, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide more firefighters for our community,” New Braunfels Fire Chief Ruy Lozano said. “The additional staff will help enhance the department’s firefighting capabilities and increase operational efficiencies.”

Looking ahead

City officials said New Braunfels Human Resources Department staff are combing through 200 firefighter candidate applications that were received during the last hiring phase and anticipate hiring new firefighters in early 2024.