Alameda Fire Department awarded $1.8 million grant to maintain staffing levels


September 12, 2018




Sarah Henry, Public Information Officer

(510) 747-4714


On Friday, September 7, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) informed the City that for the fourth time, we are being awarded a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant to continue funding six Firefighter positions within the Alameda Fire Department (AFD). This funding is critical to retaining basic staffing levels and ensuring adequate fire and emergency response availability to the community while not impacting the City’s General Fund; the main source of funding for fire department emergency operations. The SAFER grant totals approximately $1,876,000 for a three year period and requires a funding match from the City as follows:


·         Year 1: FEMA provides 75% of all personnel costs, Alameda 25% match

·         Year 2: FEMA provides 75% of all personnel costs, Alameda 25% match

·         Year 3: FEMA provides 35% of all personnel costs, Alameda 65% match


On October 16, the AFD will bring this item to the City Council for acceptance. With this grant, the Fire Department has secured funding for six existing positions that are currently vacant. We are recruiting candidates to fill these vacancies and begin training at the January 2019 Fire Academy.


Fire Chief Edmond Rodriguez would like to extend the AFD’s sincerest appreciation and acknowledgment to our internal grant writing team on this successful award, Captain James Colburn and Fire Services Manager Darci Vogel. These two key employees have an outstanding track record with federal grants and have helped bring in over $11 million in SAFER and Assistance to Firefighter’s Grants (AFG) that improve safety for all residents, business owners, and visitors to Alameda.


Federal grant programs available to fire departments are a critical source of funding for local agencies, representing the third largest source of funding for AFD emergency operations over the last several years in addition to the General Fund and cost recovery funding through emergency ambulance transportation services.


Chief Rodriguez would also like to acknowledge the hard work of U.S Representative of the 13th District, Barbara Lee. Congresswoman Lee represents the Appropriations Committee on the House Budget Committee and is a strong advocate for continued funding for these FEMA based grant programs which have greatly benefitted her district for many years. As part of its commitment to diversity, the AFD will be hiring candidates funded by this grant that are reflective of our great and diverse community.