Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, announced today two huge SAFER grants for two area fire departments. Kansas City's Fire Department will get more than $4.5 million, and the Raytown Fire Protection District will be awarded a $1.2 million grant. SAFER stands for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant.
"Firefighters need to be on the job, not facing layoffs," said Congressman Cleaver. " With every city in the country facing severe budget challenges, I am pleased to help bring federal dollars home so our communities are safer, our response times stay efficient, and our hard working firefighters stay employed."
Raytown Fire Chief Rick Mawhirter says it will prevent his department from having to eliminate nine firefighter positions over the next two years.
"It is our goal to utilize this grant to maintain our operation until we can restore our funding to a sustainable level," said Chief Mawhirter. He also thanked the Congressman for his incredible support of public safety.
The Department of Homeland Security made initial notifications on the SAFER grants this week.
"Kansas City is exceptionally lucky to have Congressman Cleaver and the rest of our area delegation. The Congressman knows first-hand what it is like to balance budgets and make difficult decisions as Mayor. In these difficult economic times every bit of federal funding helps to address the critical needs that are important to our entire community. I cannot thank him enough for his efforts," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James.