Hesperia to rehire nine firefighters
City receives $2 million fire grant from feds
HESPERIA • The city of Hesperia got an early Christmas present in the form of a $2 million federal grant, which will be used to rehire nine fire personnel.
“To say that we are excited to be awarded this grant would be an understatement,” Mayor Bill Holland said in a press release Friday.
The city cut $1.4 million from the fire district’s budget — the equivalent of nine full-time firefighters — in July 2011, and hoped to salvage the jobs through a proposed $85 parcel tax proposed through Measure F to support fire services. When voters rejected the measure in November 2011, nine fire personnel were laid off two months later.
The move shaved $752,000 off the district’s $9.2 million budget for the new fiscal year, which began July 1.
Funding from the grant will pay 100 percent of the full salary and benefits for nine fire safety positions for the period of two years, according to the city.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The objective of the fire grant is to augment or restore local fire departments staffing and deployment capabilities in order to effectively respond to emergencies.
“Firefighters provide a tremendous benefit to our community,” Holland said, “and we are so pleased to be able to recover these nine positions.”
Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.