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Higgins Fire Department in South Nevada County will reopen closed fire stations thanks to a Grant from FEMA but only for 2 years.
Higgins Fire Protection District was notified December 13th that they had been awarded a SAFER Grant (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. The Purpose of the SAFER Grant is to provide funding directly to fire department in order to help them increase or maintain the number of training front line firefighters available in their communities. Higgins Fire Chief Jerry Goode explains the decline in property tax revenue led to budget shortfalls and laying off of 6 employees in 2012.
The Chief hopes to get more grants or an increase in property taxes to provide stable budgets in the future to adequately cover the fire district. The grant award totals $966 thousand dollars and is only for personnel to maintain an adequate staffing level. Higgins Area Fire Protection District serves 90 square miles in South Nevada County and the Lake of the Pines area.