The Scott Fire Department announced today that they have received federal funding that will be used to hire three new firefighters.
In 2016, the department received notice that their fire rating was in jeopardy of being reduced from a Class 3 to Class 4 if the manpower response to working structural fires was not addressed before the next evaluation slated for 2021. Losing that rating would increase insurance premiums for homeowners. The report stated that the problem could be solved by having firefighters on duty at the station.
In an effort to comply with the report and minimize the financial impact on residents, in February of 2019, Scott Fire Department officials during a special council meeting on the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant Program. This program was developed by FEMA to assist communities in meeting industry minimum standards to attain 24-hour staffing.
The council unanimously voted to give permission to apply for the SAFER grant. The federal government would pay a percentage of salaries, with the City of Scott committing to pay the remaining share. The department submitted an application in February requesting three firefighters.
On September 12, Senator Bill Cassidy's office notified Fire Chief Chad Sonnier that the SAFER grant had been approved for $278,826.45 in funding, which covers three full-time firefighters for the city.
The Scott City Council approved the acceptance of the grant in a meeting on October 3. Accepting the grant will assist the department in retaining their Class 3 rating and continue to provide citizens of Scott with the best fire protection available.
On Friday, October 4, Senator Bill Cassidy officially presented the Scott Fire Department with the SAFER grant.
Scott Fire Chief Chad Sonnier said the addition of the firefighters will be a nice advantage.
The grant "will help the citizens of Scott because we'll have one guy here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and he or she's going to complement the personnel that we have as far as that volunteer at that time, so it's going to be a tremendous asset for the citizens of Scott."
The Scott Fire Department thanked Senator Bill Cassidy for his hard work in this endeavor and all he does for the fire service.