President Biden announces new resources for Philadelphia Fire Department

In September, the Philadelphia Fire Department received a $22 million federal grant.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Monday, December 11, 2023
Biden announces new resources for Philadelphia Fire Department
President Biden announces new resources for Philadelphia Fire Department

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- President Joe Biden visited Philadelphia's Francisville neighborhood on Monday, marking his 19th trip to the area since taking office.

He stopped at Engine 13 firehouse to announce a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.

The $22.4 million in federal money will be used to hire, train and pay 72 firefighter/EMTs for three years. After that, the personnel costs will be covered by the City of Philadelphia.

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"The only thing that protects firefighters is more firefighters," said Biden.

It will bring resources and reinstate Engine 6 located at 2601 Belgrade Street, Ladder 11 at 12th and Reed streets, and Ladder 1 at 16th and Parrish streets.

The federal government sent the Philadelphia Fire Department a $22 million grant in September, allowing Ladder 1, Engine 6 and Ladder 11 to reopen. All three have been closed for 14 years since the Great Recession.

The newly dedicated resources will serve Kensington, Fishtown, Fairmount, Spring Garden and South Philadelphia.

The White House says that if Ladder 1 had been operating, it would have been the closest to respond to the city's worst residential fire in Fairmount last year.

"If the company, hadn't been decommissioned Ladder 1, it would've been the closest to the fire. God only knows if they would've been able to get there earlier and save lives," said Biden.

SEE ALSO: 'Near certainty' Fairmount fire ignited when Christmas tree set ablaze, Philadelphia officials say

President Biden then attended a campaign event before heading back to Washington.

As for the 72 new fire department hires, they'll enter into the 9-month academy program at the beginning of January. The equipment including ladder and engine trucks are already back and ready for deployment at the first call.