Concern looms whether Chico Fire will receive large federal grant

Feb 14, 2014 6:33 PM

Although the Chico Fire Department has been awarded a $5.3 million grant through FEMA, there's concern the city won't accept it.

That’s according to Chico Firefighters Association President John Kelso.

He said the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant will allow Chico fire to adequately re-staff engines one and three by adding 15 firefighters.

Kelso said Chico's City Manager Brian Nakamura has indicated the city won't accept it because it would prevent the city from making any future reductions to the department.

But Nakamura told Action News Now on the phone today he's not opposing the grant, but just wants Chico's city council to be fully informed on the benefits and impacts of the grant.

“This grant says that you can't change the staffing of the fire department if we give you all this money,” Kelso said. “Brian Nakamura and [Finance Director] Chris Constantin are doing their job and showing concern, but our firefighters, our fire management have looked deep into FEMA. We've had meetings, we found out all the details of this…the risk that the city management is worried about is not as great.”

Nakamura said one concern is when the two year contracts expire for the new firefighters, there may be a loss in the level of service Chico fire is able to provide.

The council will discuss the grant at Tuesday night's meeting.


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