The Port Washington Fire Department received a $151,000 federal grant, which was used to hire a full-time firefighter/emergency medical technician, Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) announced last Wednesday.
The funding, which is part of the Staffing for the Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will help add the department’s sixth full-time firefighter, a news release said.
“This position will add to the department’s current staff of five firefighter/EMT’s who provide invaluable support to the department’s volunteer ranks during normal business hours when so much of the membership is engaged in their own employment,” said Chief Brian Waterson of the Port Washington Fire Department.
The Port Washington Fire Department has over 320 volunteers.
Waterson said that by hiring a new firefighter/EMT, the department will be able to respond to fire and emergency service calls quicker.
The Port Washington Fire Department Board of Directors has hired the new firefighter, who began working on Monday.
“Every day our firefighters selflessly put their lives on the line to save others,” Israel said. “This critical federal funding for the Port Washington Fire Department will allow the department to ease the burden on the many volunteers and the full-time firefighters by hiring another firefighter to help protect our homes, businesses and schools.”
The grant is part of a program that “will award approximately $340 million to fire departments nationwide,” according to the release.
The Port Washington Fire Department, Waterson said, trains volunteers and accepts new volunteer members monthly.
The department also runs a junior firefighters program, which is open to children 13 to 17 years old.
All Port Washington firefighters and EMTs are trained at the Nassau County Fire Service and EMS academies, Waterson said, and the firefighters and EMTs share information to help better themselves as firefighters.
To become a volunteer firefighter for the Port Washington Fire Department, visit www.pwfd.com and press “join now,” and the department’s recruiting department will be in touch.