Jackson accepts SAFER grant, will be used to hire new firefighters

Posted: 1:41 PM, Oct 31, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-31 13:41:39-04

The city of Jackson has accepted a nearly $1.7 million dollar SAFER grant.

That means starting in February, the city will hire nine additional firefighters for two years with the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency worked with the city after the October 23 deadline to accept the grant expired.

"Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency were quick to work with the city when they saw that negotiations with the firefighters' union were going smoothly, and an agreement was forthcoming," City Manager Patrick Burtch said. "We very much appreciate their efforts and their willingness to work with us on acquiring the SAFER funds."

The city announced last week it reached a deal with the firefighters union on a five year contract.

The new contract will increase firefighters' wages, make changes to health insurance plans, and reform pensions.