A recently awarded grant will put more firefighters to work in Southern Pines.
The Federal Emergency Management Association is providing the town with funding to hire six new firefighters. Over the next three years, more than $543,000 will be distributed to the Southern Pines Fire and Rescue Department as part of FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, initiative.
According to FEMA’s website, the program “was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, ‘front line’ firefighters available in their communities.” The Southern Pines department is among 384 agencies across the nation that have been awarded funding for the current grant cycle.
The extra personnel will help the department tackle the ever-growing number of calls for service in Southern Pines. The town has experienced a 14-percent increase in calls since 2015.