AJC-The Forsyth County Fire Department has been awarded a $1.6 million federal grant to hire 12 new firefighters for a new fire station in the western part of the county.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant of the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA will require a $1 million cash match from the county, officials said. The funds will pay to staff the Pittman Road fire station to open late next year.

Funding for 2019, 2020 and 2021 was not otherwise fully funded in the fire fund’s operating budget, officials said. They credited U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) with writing letters of support to help the county obtain the grant.

“One of the fire department’s goals in applying for this funding was to improve compliance with the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendation to staff the new station with a four-person engine company,” said Fire Chief Danny Bowman. “Forsyth County continues to see an increased need for fire department services. This grant will go far in supporting the costs of the new station.”

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