Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) recently secured a $1.6 million federal grant to increase the La Salle County Fire Rescue Department’s staffing level.
The lawmakers said funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program, enables the department to hire 15 new full-time frontline firefighters while strengthening the response to fire and fire-related hazards and improving overall preparedness.
“Every day, families in our communities rely on first responders to save lives and keep us safe,” Hurd said. “The folks in La Salle County are no different. The brave firefighters in La Salle County put their lives on the line each day to keep South Texans safe, and this funding will allow them to expand their efforts. Dangerous and demanding jobs require all hands on deck, and I remain committed to ensuring that communities across TX23 have the resources they need to keep us safe.”
The three-year, cost-sharing program stipulates during the first and second year the grant covers 75 percent of the salary and benefits of the firefighters while the city covers the other 25 percent.
In the third year, funding will cover 35 percent of the salary and benefits, and the city will cover the other 65 percent.
The goal is for fire departments to increase staffing and deployment capabilities and ultimately attain 24-hour staffing, officials said, ensuring communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.