CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday that the Cathedral City Fire Department was selected to receive a 1.4 million dollar grant, one of just a dozen fire stations across California to receive a grant.
"They look at the number of emergencies they respond to, they look at the risk to the community, and they compare that against the regional and national standards," said Cathedral City Fire Chief Paul Wison. "We were able to demonstrate that we had a need in the community to do that so."
The grant allows the fire department to hire six additional firefighter paramedics, with three-person staffing on the fire engines. A move that bolsters their ability to respond to any emergency.
"We'd like to get to four but it's a start to get to three and give better protection to our community and it's going to give much safer opportunities to anyone who has medical needs or fire needs with the fire department," said Cathedral Mayor Stan Henry.
The grant will fund about 85% of new firefighter's salary for three years. The grant also increases safety for the community and firefighters themselves.
"The way we're currently staffed, we have to send additional units to make a full complement and so this will allow us to keep units in service and having three people on the fire engines makes a huge difference for the safety of the citizens as well as the safety of the firefighters," Walker said.
The Cathedral City Fire Department is currently hiring for those six open positions, you can apply online here.