The Pelham Village Board of Trustees plans to hire two additional career firefighters using a federal grant of $440,053.95

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced the funding, which was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.

Pelham Village Fire Chief James DiNapoli and Fire Lt. Robert Benkwitt III had worked on the application for the grant.

The SAFER grant program was 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 established by the National Fire Protection Association.

The grant will subsidize 75% of the of salary, benefits, and associated costs in each of the first two years and then 35% of same in the third year covering the two new Pelham Village hires.

"This will provide the Village an opportunity to increase our daily staffing to safer levels, substantially reduce overtime costs and allow us to comply with widely held operational standards for the betterment of Village residents," said Mike Carpeter, Village Trustee who is liaison to the Fire Department.

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