Jacksonville to hire 67 firefighters

FEMA awarded city $5.9M grant

By Jim Piggott - Reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There's been a hole in the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department as the city has not been filling vacant positions.

Now the federal government is helping out.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the city a $5.9 million grant that will allow the city to hire 67 firefighters and pay salaries and some benefits for two years.

Mayor Alvin Brown said this could not have come at a better time.

"To me that says we have a vote of confidence in Homeland Security," he said. "They understand that we understand the importance of public safety. Also, we are not just putting out fire like we did with the Olive Garden restaurant, but we are also answering 911 calls. That emergency call to really get to someone's home that may be life-threatening."

Legislation will be introduced Tuesday night at the City Council meeting to allow for the grant to be used to hire firefighters and support staff.

The positions must be filled in 90 days.

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