The Duncan Fire Department received a SAFER Grant, which will allow them to hire three more firefighters.
With the hiring of three more members to the department, the DFD will be closer to its goal of setting up a fourth substation in the northern quadrant of Duncan.
The $244,000 grant is something DFD Deputy Chief Dayton Burnside said will be a big benefit for the Fire Department.
“It will greatly increase firefighter safety and the safety of the community,” Burnside said. “It will be a tremendous benefit. We’ll be able to have adequate manpower to do what we need to do.”
Burnside said with the increase in manpower and the addition of a substation, the Fire Department will be able to respond even quicker to calls.
The grant funds are federal funds that will cover the cost of the new firefighter salaries for two years. This will give the City of Duncan two years to budget for the increase in firefighter salary needs.
“These will be permanent positions,” Burnside said. “It will be very beneficial to the firefighters and staff.”
He said he did a lot of research into the grant and was glad his hard work paid off. Burnside said he received a lot of support from the Duncan City Council and City Manager Jim Frieda.
“I’m definitely appreciative of our city council and city manager,” Burnside said.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole stopped by the Duncan Fire Department on Thursday to meet some of the firefighters. Cole was joined by Frieda, Duncan Mayor Gene Brown and Councilor Carl Bowers.
Frieda said he’s excited to see things come together and wants to make sure Duncan’s safety increases in the next few years.
“The grant means a lot to us,” Frieda said. “It gets us to where we need to be.”
Brown said he can see the benefit of having more firefighters because it will mean there will be more people on call, more people to respond to fires, EMS calls and various other calls the department might receive.
Frieda said he’s glad to have Burnside heading up the Fire Department because Burnside is working to improve the department any chance he gets. Frieda said the grant is just one example of the hard work Burnside has been putting in.
“Dayton put in the hard work. It was time consuming, but he did it. He deserves a pat on the back,” Frieda said.