Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) is hiring 47 new firefighters after securing a federal grant of almost $12 million from FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.
The firefighter positions will help to staff two new fire stations coming online in the next year in Central Brandon and in Riverview, HCFR says.
Firefighters staffing the two new fire stations will alleviate pressure on existing stations nearby. The stations in Brandon and Riverview will decrease response times for emergency calls so that rescue personnel can get to residents more quickly.
Fire Rescue staff wrote the application for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, and the County was awarded the fourth-largest grant among 300 departments across the nation.
Brandon is among the largest unincorporated communities in the state, and a new fire station in the central part of the community will provide much needed service in the area, the department said.
Riverview is among the fastest-growing parts of Hillsborough County, and HCFR was able to secure a prime property at U.S. Highway 301 and Rhodine Road to provide quick access to the community and reduce response times in the southern part of the county.
The two new fire stations are part of the County’s master plan, which calls for 24 more stations across the county to meet the population growth and lower response times.
This is Hillsborough’s second SAFER grant. HCFR also was awarded a SAFER grant in 2017. The latest grant will pay 100 percent of the salary and benefits for the new firefighters for three years and has no match requirement.