City of Peoria Press Release
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City Receives Nearly $1 Million Safety Grant
Response Times at Lake Pleasant Will Greatly Improve
PEORIA, Ariz. (July 10, 2012) ï¿½ The Peoria Fire
Department will receive $930,000 from the United States Department of Homeland Security to
hire and train six additional fire fighters to staff Lake Pleasant. The funds
are part of a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant
the city applied for back in May. The money will be available beginning Sept. 29
and expire Sept. 28, 2014.
"It has long been a goal of the city to improve our fire/EMS (emergency response
system) response in the Lake Pleasant area, but in a time of budget cuts we
needed to postpone these improvements," said Carl Swenson, Peoria city manager.
"With our success in receiving this grant, and our success in receiving the
grant to purchase a fireboat, we are now able to begin these needed service
improvements sooner than we would have otherwise been able."
In November, the city also received $180,401 from the Tohono O'odham Nation to
purchase a boat plus trailer - equipped with communication and safety equipment
- to handle fires and respond to medical emergencies on the lake. Until now, the
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office was the only agency with such equipment.
The grant covers 100 percent of the personnel costs (salary and benefits) of the
six new fire fighters for two years. After two years, the city will integrate
the funding of the positions into the 2015 budget expenditure projections.
"We are very excited to be able to have fire fighters at Lake Pleasant 24 hours
a day, seven days a week," explains Deputy Fire Chief Stacy Irvine. "With the
additional staff, a fire boat, and the arrival of the off-road truck budgeted
for this year, our response time to emergencies will be greatly reduced - and
that's a great thing for everyone."