Two more fire districts get federal grants

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The Federal Emergency Management Administration gave two grants to Clark County fire organizations to buffer their staffing this month.

The grants awarded under FEMA’s Staffing For Adequate Fire & Emergency Response program, gave $979,519 to Clark County Fire & Rescue to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters.

East County Fire & Rescue also got $299,500 to recruit volunteers and $724,659 to hire professional firefighters.

The grants are intended for departments that have a high rate of turnover or low staffing levels. The agencies have 90 days from the day the grant is awarded to start spending the money.

The awards come on the heels of a $2.3 million award to the Vancouver Fire Department in March to hire 13 new firefighters and reopen Fire Station 6, which closed Dec. 31 due to budget cuts.

The Vancouver City Council won’t officially accept that money until it adopts is Spring Supplemental Budget on June 20; several councilors have expressed reservations about taking the money while the contract with its largest firefighter’s union remains unsettled.