After slashing five firefighter positions because of budget challenges last year, Palo Alto is now preparing to revive them thanks to a federal funds.
The city has received a $3.66 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support the salaries and benefits for the positions for three years. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant is restricted to covering the salaries of new firefighters, whom the city is required to hire by February to retain grant eligibility.
According to FEMA, the grant was crated 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 grant spells a bit of good news for Palo Alto, which slashed its budget by about $40 million last year because of plunging revenues.