Wyden, Merkley: Nearly $2.2 Million to Rural Oregon Fire Departments for Recruitment

Drain, Roseburg, Siletz & Stayton to benefit

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that four rural Oregon fire departments will receive a combined nearly $2.2 million from FEMA for firefighter recruitment and retention.

“Firefighters have been working hard this past summer and year-round to protect lives and livelihoods throughout Oregon, and they deserve quality pay and time off,” said Wyden, who has been pushing the federal government to increase pay for wildland firefighters. “This federal investment in Oregon is especially timely given firefighters’ heroic work this summer battling blazes, and I know it will be put to good use staffing up these rural fire departments. I’ll keep battling to make sure firefighters have the resources they need to continue to protect communities across the state.”

“As fires and emergencies can break out at any time, it’s essential that we have enough firefighters available to meet the moment,” Merkley said. “In rural fire departments, maintaining staff is essential to fight fires that are burning large swaths of acreage year after year. This funding will help protect Oregon communities by ensuring rural fire districts have the staffing and resources needed when disaster strikes.” 

These grant funds come from FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program, which awards grants to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities to respond to emergencies. The funds will be allocated as follows:

  • $492,235 to the North Douglas County Fire in Drain
  • $611,620 to Tenmile Rural Fire District in Roseburg
  • $309,192 to Siletz Rural Fire Protection District
  • $769,724 to Stayton Fire District