BOSTON, Mass. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced a direct assistance grant to the Watertown Fire Department in Watertown through the agency’s Fiscal Year 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant program.

The Watertown Fire Department will receive a three-year grant of $130,406 from FEMA to be used for a call firefighter recruitment and retention program.

The SAFER grant program was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to help increase the number of trained firefighters available in our communities.

The goal of the SAFER grant program is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities to respond to emergencies and assure that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. With enhanced staffing levels, recipients should experience a reduction in response times and an increase in the number of trained personnel assembled at the incident scene. 

The grant is funded through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The grant applications are submitted from each agency directly to FEMA, where the applications are reviewed and scored by fire service personnel from throughout the nation.

FEMA obligates funding for this project directly to the recipient agencies. It is the recipient agency’s responsibility to manage their grant award within federal guidelines with technical assistance and monitoring provided by FEMA Fire Program Specialists.

Additional information about FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program(s) may be found at

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