NM fire dept. receives $1M in grants to improve services

The grants will pay for nine new firefighter positions, a third emergency squad unit and will help send 12 firefighters through a paramedic training program


Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Las Cruces Fire Department has received two federal grants totaling more than $1 million that will pay for nine new firefighter positions, to staff a third emergency squad unit and send 12 firefighters through a paramedic training program, the city announced in a news release.

The $1,162,664 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant will pay for nine new firefighter positions to be funded over the next three years. The SAFER grant will allow LCFD to staff a third squad unit that will be housed at new Fire Station 3 once it’s built. The nine new positions will also decrease the number of three-person crews LCFD operates from five to four.

The new squad’s apparatus will be purchased using State Legislative appropriations of $140,000 along with funds from LCFD’s State Fire Protection Fund, the city announced.

The second grant received is an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for training. It will allow LCFD to place 12 firefighters into a paramedic training program. LCFD has partnered with Doña Ana Community College to train paramedics. The next paramedic class will begin within 90 days. The $345,000 grant will cover tuition, books and overtime for the 12 firefighters selected for the advanced training.

The overtime allows LCFD to maintain staffing levels while the 12 firefighters are in training, the news release stated.

Both federal grants and the state appropriations will soon be presented to Las Cruces City Council for approval.

Copyright 2018 Las Cruces Sun-News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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