GRFD seeking recruits with new SAFER grant

Emma Hughes

Gila River Indian News


The Gila River Fire Department has received a Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Community has been working to obtain the SAFER grant for quite some time and have now been successful.


The SAFER grant is a three-year grant that provides funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to help increase or maintain trained firefighters. 


The grant is allowing Gila River Fire Department to recruit 20 firefighter apprentices. GRFD is in dire need of more firefighters due to high call volumes, economic development, and high levels of traffic that comes through the districts and casinos. GRFD currently has four stations in Districts 1, 3, 4, and 6 with the hopes of more in the future.


With the SAFER grant, GRFD is eager to bring in as many Community members as possible on board but the apprenticeship is open to anyone who applies, with limited to zero certifications. 


Those accepted will go through a six-month academy, EMT school, Fire Fighter I &II and move on to the academy. The closing date to apply is Feb. 21 and you can apply online at


GRFD has been actively promoting the department through Community engagement with a focus on youth, to see and explore the fire service through job and health fairs with firefighters in gear on site.


 GRFD is also working to bring back their explorer program which allows ages 14 to 21 gain some experience and mentorship towards the apprentice program.