you're reading...

Cornelius News

SAFER grant could fund Cornelius paid firefighters

March 3. Cornelius is seeking federal federal grants to pay for three additional full time firefighters. The funds come under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER).

A resolution in support of this effort was unanimously approved this week by the Town Board.

The SAFER grants were created to provide funding directly to fire departments to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities.


The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards during the pandemic.

“We’re currently in the process of hiring our first six Town full time firefighters, which is technically the first phase in establishing a municipal fire department,” said Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron. The town plans to continue to contract and work with the Cornelius-Lemley Volunteer Fire Department by way of a transition plan that may extend ten or more years.

The grant, which would cover salaries and benefits, would allow the Town to hire three additional firefighters in Fiscal Year 2022.

At the end of the three-year period, the town can decide whether  to keep the new firefighters on board, and if so, how to fund the positions.