COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department has been approved for a $658,120 grant from the US Department of Homeland Security's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program. According to the fire department, the money will be used to pay salaries and benefits of five new firefighters.
The fire department said budget shortfalls caused one crew assigned to fire station two, on West Worley Street, to be transferred to fire station nine, on Blueridge Road, when it opened February 2010. Since then, the second truck at station two has been open sporadically.
Fire Chief Chuck Witt said the additional crews will allow the fire department to open Engine Two on a more consistent basis.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program is federally funded and was created to improve or restore local fire department's staffing and deployment capabilities.