Wakefield Considering First Responder Training Grant
By CHARITY SMITH
Wakefield – The town of Wakefield is in the process of drafting a grant to seek funding for training and recruiting first responders, according to City Manager Robert Brown.
“We will be applying for funds to train some of our firefighters as medical first responders,” Brown said.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the $ 5 million training and recruiting grant program on Jan. 3.
“First responders are on the front line of our health and safety, and are always there for us when we need them most,” said Whitmer. “We have to work together to put them first. We need to find ways to recruit and train the next generation of these true community heroes today so that they can be there for us tomorrow. With these new grants, we can hire more law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, paramedics and local correctional officers to keep us all safe.
All Michigan towns, villages, townships, counties, and fire departments can apply for a grant of up to $ 100,000 through the First Responder Recruitment and Training Grant program. First responders are classified as police, firefighters, paramedics, paramedics, and local government correctional officer units.
“The purpose of the grant program is to support the efforts of local governments to expand recruitment, improve training, and provide additional professional development and support to first responders in local governments,” the statement said.
Of the $ 5 million allocated for the grant program, $ 2 million was allocated to communities with a per capita property value of less than $ 15,000. The per capita property value for Wakefield according to mlive.com in 2018 was $ 14,714. Communities applying for a grant should include in their application the objective of the program, demonstrating how budgeted costs relate directly to recruiting or training first responders.
Brown said the city is planning to train four firefighters. Firefighters could take an EMT course at Gogebic Community College as early as May, depending on funding and course availability, he said. The city wants to aim for a spring-summer registration with the college, as the grant prioritizes those who will have completed the training by September 30.
“Michigan communities are making the recruitment and training of first responders a priority,” said state treasurer Rachael Eubanks. “These dollars will help our communities provide better services to keep Michigan residents safe.”
Applications must be submitted by February 15th. Applications will be selected for funding by the Michigan Department of the Treasury based on the purpose, eligibility, and criteria of the program. Projects are funded on a reimbursement basis.
To learn more about the grant program, visit Michigan.gov/FRG.