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Grant would create full-time Clanton fire department

By Joyanna Love/ Managing Editor

The Clanton Fire Department is applying for a $4.6 million grant to fund staffing each of the three fire stations 24 hours a day.

The Clanton City Council gave unanimous approval for the department to apply for the grant during its March 8 meeting.

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grants are federal grants for staffing fire departments.

Fire Chief David Driver said has proposed applying for 24 positions: three captains, three lieutenants and 18 Fire medics/Firefighters (with a minimum of 9 fire medics).

Staff would work 24-hour shifts.

If the grant is awarded it would cover salaries, all benefits and 3% cost of living raises.

“This is the maximum that will be needed,” Driver said. “It will depend on what level of EMS training the applicants have and how many people actually apply. If awarded the grant, we will have a maximum of six months to hire personnel. The funds will be available after the six-month window, and the entire funds for the grant will be determined by how many people we have after the six months.”

Also during the meeting, the Council approved 5 to 1 allowing limited sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on or off the premise on Sunday.  Council members Billy Singleton, Awlahjaday Agee, Wade Watley and Mary Mell Smith as well as Clanton Mayor Jeff Mims voted in favor.

Council member Don Driver voted against.

“I voted my heart,” Driver said after the meeting.

Driver said he had been unsure how he would vote until he time for a decision. However, he said he has never drank and was against the proposal.