NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The New Rochelle Fire Department got a step closer to hiring six more firefighters after the New Rochelle City Council, during a special meeting Tuesday, said it could apply for a federal grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program.
“This way we can increase our force because we’re losing people due to retirement,” said Henry Senno, deputy fire dhief for support services.
The department now applies for the grant by Friday’s deadline and waits three months to see if it is one of the departments chosen. Departments are selected based on their conditions and how much they need to increase their staff. There is more than $337 million availble nationwide in the grant program.
If the department, which now has 149 members, is selected for the grant, the money would pay the salaries and provide benefits of the six new firefighters over a two-year period. The city's 2012 budget would also be adjusted.
The council would then approve the grant, and decide other items including when the two-year period would start. The city would also need to figure out how to keep the six new firefighters on after the two year period is up.