Rapid City Fire Chief Mike Maltaverne has been warning the City Council for 3 years that the city is facing a shortage of firefighters, reports the Rapid City Journal.
In the last 20 years, calls logged in Rapid City have increased from 44 calls a year per firefighter to 117 calls a year per firefighter. The Fire Department would need 15 more firefighters to meet national standards for safety, and for community emergency needs in Rapid City. The City Council has recently approved a budget transfer to fund 3 new positions for 6 months each, starting July 1st. Chief Maltaverne has asked that approval be given to apply for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from FEMA that could fund 9 new firefighters for the next 2 years. If approved, grant recipients would receive funding by October.
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