ST. PAUL — A new sleeping room for volunteer and paid on-call firefighters. A study to identify the challenges of consolidating three fire departments. These are just two of the projects several Minnesota fire departments, fire districts and cities will be able to work on thanks to grants from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD).
The SFMD awarded a total of $250,000 in Service Planning Grants
. The grants ranged from approximately $28,000 to $133,000. Money for the grants came from the Fire Safety Account.
More information about each grant recipient:
- Excelsior Fire District — $133,927
- Funds will be used to remodel both fire stations to create sleeping rooms for volunteer and paid on-call firefighters. This will help the department implement a 24/7 duty crew.
- East Bethel, Bethel, Oak Grove, St. Francis, Linwood Township fire departments — $18,000
- Funds will be used to hire a third-party consultant to study sharing staff resources as well as the sustainability of the current delivery of services.
- Town of Fayal, Eveleth and Gilbert fire departments — $30,500
- Funds will be used to hire a third-party consultant to help identify and study the challenges and opportunities of consolidating the three departments. Funds will also be used to implement the study results.
- Mountain Iron and Virginia fire departments — $28,750
- Funds will be used to identify ways the fire departments can work better together, to include the possibility of consolidation. The study will identify appropriate future staffing models for each community.
- City of Corcoran — $33,166
- Funds will be used for a comprehensive fire service growth study to help define call response, training, personnel and equipment goals. Corcoran currently contracts with three different fire departments. This study will help determine whether this is the best way to serve residents in the future.
- City of Otsego — $39,875
- Funds will be used for a response time improvement and fire service model study. Otsego currently contracts with three fire departments. This study will help determine whether this is the best way to serve residents in the future.
“The resources of many local fire departments are stretched thin, and these grants will help departments find ways to better serve their communities,” State Fire Marshal Bruce West said. “The ultimate goal is providing the best service possible.”
The SFMD received six Service Planning Grant applications requesting nearly $350,000. The Service Planning Grant — formerly known as the Shared Services Grant — was first awarded in 2010, then in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
“These grants are an important resource for the Minnesota fire service,” said Fire Service Specialist Tate Mills, one of three SFMD liaisons to Minnesota’s more than 780 fire departments. “Groups that have been talking about projects can now move ahead thanks to this money.”
None of the current awardees have received a Shared Services or Service Planning grant before. Several of the applicants have paid for their own internal studies or worked with consultants in the past.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the State Fire Marshal Division
The mission of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division is to protect lives and property by fostering a fire-safe environment through fire/arson investigation, code development and enforcement, regulation, data collection and public education. Data collected by the State Fire Marshal Division from fire departments statewide is analyzed and used to determine the best methods of public education and enforcement to improve fire safety in our state.