Trophy Club Town Council approves grant application in effort to increase fire department staffing
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant application for the Trophy Club Fire Department was unanimously approved by the Trophy Club City Council as part of the Jan. 25 consent agenda. (Bailey Lewis/Community Impact Newspaper)
Since 2018, the Trophy Club Fire Department has been requesting to add three additional full-time firefighters, according to the agenda packet. Only five full-time employees are permanently assigned to each of the department’s three shifts.
“This has come at considerable expense not only with increased overtime costs but has negatively impacted firefighter health and safety,” the packet stated.
The fire department’s current financial situation doesn’t allow it to hire more than one full-time firefighter per year over the next three years, according to the packet. But that “does not immediately solve the pressing issue of overworking firefighters,” the document stated.
The fire department is applying for a Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response—or SAFER—grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the packet stated. SAFER grants provide funding to help fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters available, according to FEMA’s website.
According to the packet, if the fire department gets the SAFER grant, it would be able to hire the three additional full-time employees it needs. The grant would cover 100% of the pay and benefits for all three employees for a three-year period. Once the three-year period ends, the funding responsibility would fall back to the town of Trophy Club.
It costs $96,967 to cover the pay and benefits for one fuIl-time firefighter. So, if awarded, the grant would give the fire department a total of $290,901 per year to cover the three employees—a total of $872,703 for all three years, the packet stated.
The grant application was unanimously approved by the Trophy Club Town Council as part of the Jan. 25 consent agenda. If the fire department is awarded the grant, the Trophy Club Town Council will again be asked to approve it, which would be the final step.
“Receiving an award of the SAFER Grant will allow [three full-time firefighters] to be hired at once, thus increasing our overall service to the community while increasing firefighter safety and wellness, and reducing annual overtime costs,” according to the packet.