The Oklahoma State Firefighters Association (OSFA) has been awarded $2.1 million in federal funding to implement a statewide volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention campaign.
“We are excited to accept this grant and assist our local fire departments find, train, and outfit volunteer firefighters all over this great state,” said OSFA President Mike Duncan. “As a Captain on a volunteer fire department, I can say this will go a long way toward reinforcing Oklahoma’s volunteer fire service and making certain that our communities are better served and protected.”
This award is a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant; a FEMA administered, Department of Homeland Security program designed to increase the number of “front-line” first responders in local communities.
The OSFA will use this SAFER Grant to partner with numerous organizations to help identify potential candidates and work with local departments to recruit volunteer firefighters. In addition, the OSFA will coordinate and conduct more than $1,000,000 worth of fire and emergency services training. This grant also provides funding that will help us equip many of Oklahoma’s volunteer first responders with life-saving personal protective gear over the next four years.
“As a member of the Board of Directors for the National Volunteer Fire Council, I have the privilege of working alongside fire service leaders to build long-term solutions for the challenges facing our volunteers in this state and around the country,” said OSFA Executive Director Phil Ostrander. “This award represents a great opportunity for us to work in support of our firefighters out on the line everyday. I want to pass along my thanks to Congressman Steve Russell and his office staff for their support and assistance in this grant process.”
Congressman Steve Russell remarked, “I have always been a very big supporter of the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association, as they do such good work to help so many people here in Oklahoma. Being awarded this SAFER grant is a testament to that hard work and dedication of the people. With this grant they will be able to bring in new firefighters, retain veteran firefighters, and ensure that all of their fire departments are staffed, trained, and equipped to respond when disaster strikes. I congratulate the firefighters on this award, but it is the people of Oklahoma that have won, too.”
About the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association: The OSFA is the largest membership association representing the interests of firefighters in Oklahoma. The OSFA serves more than 15,000 members by providing invaluable tools, resources, programs, training, and advocacy for first responders around the state. Learn more at www.OSFA.info