WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján, announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded the Bloomfield Fire Department with a $1,023,494 grant under the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. The grant funds will be used to increase the number of firefighters in Bloomfield, and help the Bloomfield Fire Department to enhance its deployment capabilities to ensure that the community has adequate protection from fires and fire-related hazards.
SAFER grants provide funds directly to fire departments to help them to improve and restore staffing to comply with minimum industry standards, and to maintain the 24-hour staffing needed to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Increased funding provided through SAFER grants allows fire departments to rehire laid-off firefighters, retain firefighters facing imminent layoffs, and hire new firefighters. The grants also assist with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. Full staffing enables fire departments to more effectively and safely respond to emergencies with decreased response times and greater numbers of trained personnel.
"This grant will provide important funding to the Bloomfield Fire Department, and help it to ensure it is fully staffed and appropriately equipped to respond to emergencies safely and effectively," Udall said. "New Mexicans understand the great risks that firefighters regularly face for our safety, and I’m proud to support this important investment in the safety of the both the firefighters of Bloomfield and the surrounding community, which they serve with dedication."
“Our brave firefighters serve on the frontlines every day to protect our communities, “ Heinrich said. “This investment will help the Bloomfield Fire Department maintain the staffing it needs to keep the public safe. I will continue to support these essential grant programs to ensure our first responders can do their jobs effectively and safely.”
"With New Mexico facing the threat of a longer fire season, these federal funds are a critical component to ensuring that the Bloomfield area has the personnel it needs to protect the community,” Luján said. “New Mexico’s firefighters serve with distinction in harm’s way and we must do all we can to see that they have the resources they need to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. This investment will contribute greatly to that effort."