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Fresno Set to Hire 24 New Firefighters Thanks to Federal Grant



Fresno firefighters work a blaze caused by a space heater on Jan. 24, 2023, at East Weldon Avenue and North Angus avenues. (Twitter/Fresno Fire)
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Fresno is getting 24 additional firefighters thanks to a federal grant of $7.35 million, City Hall announced in a news release on Wednesday.

This is the second time in recent years that Fresno has struck gold with grants overseen by FEMA. In 2021, the city received $12.6 million to hire more firefighters.

With this latest grant, the department will have 103 firefighters deployed daily. That’s up from 95 now.

“This is very exciting news that will take our agency to the next level,” said Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis, who is retiring at the end of the month. “This will improve our response capabilities throughout the community and improve firefighter safety.”

66 Firefighters Added Under Dyer

Said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer: “I am proud to say that during my tenure as mayor, with the support of the City Council, we have added 66 firefighters to a department that has been overworked and understaffed for decades. These additional firefighters will improve service delivery and enhance the safety of our community.”

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants were created to provide funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, front-line firefighters, according to FEMA.

Complete List of Grant Recipients

You can view a complete list of SAFER grant recipients at this link.

Deputy Fire Chief Billy Alcorn will be Fresno’s interim fire chief while the city conducts a nationwide search for Donis’successor.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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