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St. George Fire Department recieves FEMA grant

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BATON ROUGE - The St. George Fire Protection District will soon add a new location and more firefighters after it was awarded more than $1 million in grant money from FEMA for the second year in a row.

"It's a big boost. It allows us to hire these folks, put them to work and take a burden off the local taxpayer a bit," Chief Gerard Tarleton said.

It's the second year in a row and the fourth time since 2004 that the fire district has won the grant. Chief Tarleton said last year's grant allowed his district to hire 20 new firefighters.

"We have a class from a SAFER grant we were awarded July 29 of last year, and they should graduate around Septemper," Tarleton said.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response(SAFER) grant will support a training academy that's expected to begin January 2018. This year's grant money will bring in at least 12 new hires.

The chief says the grant could not have come at a better time as St. George prepares to begin making progress on its ninth station within the district. 

New hires will enter the district's intense training after being screened and selected, a process which will begin in the fall.

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