The North Liberty Fire Department is receiving a three-year, $1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help the city hire full-time firefighters.
“This is a big win for the community,” said Fire Chief Brian Platz in a statement. “It’s the result of city officials and first responders’ hard work and determination.”
The next phase of the department’s staffing plan calls for hiring three full-time shift firefighters, according to a release. Each hired firefighter will work a 24-hour schedule, allowing the city to always have one full-time shift firefighter on duty.
A Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grant gives fire departments across the country funding to increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters in a community.
The city says hiring more firefighters will improve the department’s reliability and reduce response times, which will improve North Liberty’s fire protection insurance score, as well as provide extra supervision to part-time firefighters that staff the station overnight.
In 2019, North Liberty received a FEMA recruitment and retention grant for $358,206, over a four-year performance period, according to the release.
During an Aug. 23 City Council work session, the city unveilled a $17.7 million plan to enhance Centennial Park, including constructing a 10,000-square-foot, 300-person event center.