NEW ORLEANS – On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced that the New Orleans Fire Department, with assistance from New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP), has received a FEMA grant worth $15.9 million.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant provides funding directly to fire departments to assist in increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards. The grant will fund 63 full-time firefighter positions for a three-year period.
“You know that growing our fire department has a been a priority for our administration,” said Mayor Cantrell. “This amounts to a $15.9 million investment in our department and in our people, building the rank and file within our firefighter community. We heard this come from the firefighters themselves, and we told our firefighters to make no mistake about it, our administration will do everything necessary to build the ranks and go after the resources that we need to make this a reality. Sixty-three firefighters over a three-year period, this is a huge win for the City of New Orleans.”
Mayor Cantrell acknowledged the hard work being provided by the NOFD, which includes its relief efforts in Southwest Louisiana during Hurricane Laura as a member of Louisiana Task Force 1. As part of this work, NOFD provided five boats to be deployed. Last week, NOFD responded to nearly 80 calls for Laura evacuees in the city.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the folks who worked on this grant, especially our liaison to NOHSEP, Capt. Matt Spector,” said NOFD Superintendent Tim McConnell. “This is a true win for the City, to have 100 percent of these costs covered by the federal government. This is one of seven grants that we have received in the last 12 months. In addition to this $15.9 million, we’ve received nearly three quarters of a million dollars to go toward firefighting and rescue equipment. This is a testament to the hard work that’s done behind the scenes.”
This past June, Mayor Cantrell helped break ground on the $1.5 million Multi-Station Project Phase 1, with long-awaited Katrina-related renovations and repairs at fire stations in every City Council district. During the Cantrell Administration, the City’s to-date investment in public safety projects totals $173 million.