St. Louis Firefighters Thank Carnahan For Job-Saving Grant

Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  St. Louis firefighters Thursday presented U.S. Congressman Russ Carnahan with a shiny white ceremonial fire helmet.

It was their way of thanking Carnahan for his work to secure a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) federal grant that helped save 30 firefighter jobs from the budget chopping block.

“Thirty guys is two companies, okay? And that’s every day,” said city fire chief Dennis Jenkerson.  “That makes a big difference when you’re fighting a fire, especially with the heat we’ve had for the last several weeks.  I mean this has been tough on the firefighters, the EMS workers…it wears you down.”

After accepting the helmet and a round of applause from firefighters, Carnahan noted this isn’t his first ceremonial piece of headgear.

“I’ve got a St. Louis Rams helmet, I’ve got a University of Missouri helmet, and I’ve even got a Cardinals batting helmet,” he said.  “But this (fire helmet) really represents folks that have our back.”

This past April St. Louis was awarded a SAFER grant in the amount of $3.2 million to rehire 30 firefighters who had been laid off due to budget cuts.

The funding came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is good for two years.



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