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.



Copyright KMOX Radio

  1. Kimberly Young says:

    3.2 million for 30 firefighters with borrowed deficit money? That comes out at $107,000.00 per job. Unbelievable government perks! We could have saved or funded 60 jobs at $53,000+ or 80 jobs at $40,000 or 100 jobs at $32,000. At $32,000 there would have been thousands upon thousands of applicants and there would have been 100 new jobs instead of only 30.

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