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City plans to hire 25 firefighters

August 25, 2018

The Fort Wayne Fire Department plans to hire 25 new firefighters with the help of a federal grant to fill vacancies created through retirements, Mayor Tom Henry and Fire Chief Eric Lahey announced Friday.

“Providing excellent public safety services to the citizens of Fort Wayne is a top priority, and as our city continues to grow, it is critical that we continue to keep our residents safe and healthy,” Henry said. “The SAFER grant provides a welcome opportunity to increase the number of firefighters we have.”

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were created to fund fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help increase the number of trained firefighters available in their communities.

The $1.4 million grant will cover salary and benefits for 10 new firefighters for three years. Pay for the 15 other firefighters will be part of the city’s 2019 budget request, which the City Council will review in October.

The fire department currently has 339 firefighters.

“We’re very fortunate to have received a second consecutive award under the SAFER grant,” Lahey said. “The Fort Wayne Fire Department is committed to saving lives and being fiscally responsible. Grant awards like this one help us accomplish that goal.

“We will continue to identify opportunities like the SAFER grant to make our Fire Department as efficient as possible.”

The new academy class will begin training in February.

dgong@jg.net

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