By Jan Worth-Nelson
Thirty-three firefighters-in-training made a surprise stop at City Hall today as Mayor Karen Weaver conducted a press conference in the lobby about water credits.
The prospective addition of the firefighters– thirty-one male, two female — whose training is expected to be completed in June, offers good news to the city as the mayor and Governor Rick Snyder continue to wrangle over the potential end of water credits and other disputed state assistance.
Funding for the positions comes from a $3.8 million grant from a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to Kristin Moore, the city’s public relations director. Their addition brings to 84 the total firefighting crew for the city.
“This is such a good start for us,” Mayor Karen Weaver stated. “This is what residents have been asking for. Yes we want the water situation resolved, but public safety is also a top priority. These major steps to improve public safety are what’s really going to help bring Flint back.”
Moore said the grant was written by Fire Chief Raymond Burton and Emergency Medical Services Coordinator Carrie Edwards.
Once the recruits have fulfilled their requirements they will be certified firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMT), hazmat technicians and emergency vehicle operators.
Moore said when the new firefighters come onboard, fire department officials expect to re-open Fire Station 8 on Atherton Road.
EVM editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.