The Maury County Fire Department is working to increase the number of volunteers through a $753,784 grant.
The department was recently awarded a SAFER grant, which stands for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency and Response, through the Department of Homeland Security.
“It is our largest grant ever and we are very excited,” said Chief Mark Gandee.
The grant will help the department recruit new volunteers to respond to emergencies and keep residents safe.
“Over the years we lose volunteers through retirement, relocation and other things,” said Chief Gandee.
The money will pay for college tuition, a stipend program for members to respond to calls and attend training, a recruitment and retention officer and marketing costs to recruit volunteer firefighters.
“In today's job market, it's difficult to find good jobs and this is affording a lot of young people an opportunity that may not otherwise have been there for them,” said Chief Gandee.
Currently, the department has 200 volunteers and six paid firefighters.
The grant will be administered over a four year period.