FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has granted $367,000 to the Fairfax County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association for its recruitment and retention program, otherwise known as SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response).
The association’s president, Michael Wendt, says volunteerism is on the decline in the U.S., but volunteers are crucial for staffing, standby, and allowing additional units to be in service; especially in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
“Having volunteers that are trained and certified as the same level as the career staff means that the county is never going to miss a beat if something like that should ever happen,” said Wendt.
The grant money will fund advertising to recruit and retain long term volunteers. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Association received a similar grant in 2009.