San Jose is applying for a $3.3 million federal grant that would restore nearly a third of the firefighter positions lost in a round of layoffs in 2010. The City Council on Tuesday will discuss the grant application, which has to be submitted later this week.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency grant would fund 14 new hires in the San Jose Fire Department, bringing staffing levels a little closer to what they were before budget cuts in 2010 forced the city to lay off 49 firefighters.
In 2011, a FEMA grant enabled the city to re-staff 27 firefighter positions cut the year prior. This year's grant would bring the agency close to its pre-recession staffing levels, providing funding for 14 new positions for two years.
The fire department plans to assign the grant-funded firefighters to relief positions, to minimize brownouts, or to put an engine back in service. It could also use the new hires to staff Station 33 on Communications Hill, since developers plan to add thousands of new homes in the south San Jose neighborhood.
Hiring more firefighters could also improve response times, which have been dangerously delinquent for a number of years.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for March 3, 2015:
- The city plans to up the maximum compensation amount in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office construction project by $3.96 million, bringing the total amount to $13.6 million. Though originally set to finalize this summer, the construction schedule was pushed back to September this year.
- San Jose will enter into a $600,000 marketing deal with Hainan Airlines to promote the new airline service between Mineta San Jose International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260