Waynedale Political Commentaries


Public safety is a top priority as we work each day to make sure the City of Fort Wayne is as safe as possible for everyone.

I recently announced the Fort Wayne Fire Department will hire 15 new firefighters. Ten of the new firefighters are a result of the City of Fort Wayne receiving a $1.4 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from the federal government.

SAFER Grants were created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help increase the number of trained, front-line firefighters available in their communities. The grant received by the City will cover salaries and benefits for 10 new firefighters for two years. Salaries and benefits will then be part of the City budget at the completion of the two years. The additional five new firefighters would be part of the City’s 2016 budget.

The additional firefighters will enhance the fire department’s level of service by ensuring four firefighters are on a fire apparatus/equipment at all times and fill positions that are vacated through anticipated and unanticipated retirements.

The application period is now open and applications can be submitted at www.fortwaynefiredepartment.org. The application period will close September 25 at 4 p.m. The written aptitude test will be administered on September 26 at 8 a.m. at the Grand Wayne Center. A tutoring session for the aptitude test will be offered on September 12 at the Public Safety Academy. The 88th Recruit Academy will begin in January 2016.

We’re fortunate to be in position to increase the number of firefighters we have to meet the needs of our community. Under Chief Eric Lahey’s leadership, the Fort Wayne Fire Department is a leader in making a meaningful difference for all of us. We continue to be committed to building on the positive momentum we’re experiencing in our City.

In less than 15 years, the City has grown from 65 square miles to more than 110 square miles. The Fort Wayne Fire Department is responsible for the second largest land mass in Indiana as well as infrastructure critical to the entire region. Adding firefighters will result in optimal response and protection capabilities during the more than 18,000 runs encountered annually by the department.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer