Myrtle Beach Fire Department receives FEMA SAFER grant, plans to hire 12 more firefighters

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:24 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Fire Department has been chosen as the recipient of a multimillion-dollar grant that will allow them to expand its team.

On Sept. 21, the department received a $2.7 million FEMA SAFER grant. Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants fund fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations directly to help them increase capacity in their communities.

“The grant will enable us to hire 12 firefighters, 4 for each of our shifts,” said Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Tom Gwyer. “It will place a fourth firefighter on each of our engines and bring them to the national standard.”

The grant funds will pay the newly hired firefighters for three years.

“It’s great to be able to hire additional personnel,” said Gwyer. “Call volume has continued to increase, last year there was a record number of incidents and to be able to have that additional staff and hands so when we’re working a fire and those type of calls, it’s a huge benefit to us and the community.”

Gwyer said he hopes to begin the hiring process by the end of this year.