Canton Fire Department gets $3.5 million boost

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Canton Fire Department gets $3.5 million boost

Canton Repository – CANTON – The city expects to get $3.4 million in federal funds to ensure it doesn’t have to lay off any of the 28 of its most junior firefighters during the next two years.

Federal officials announced Wednesday that the city fire department was awarded the grant from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and manages the grant program, says the Federal government created the SAFER grants to help fire departments increase the number of firefighters.

“We’re really grateful we got it,” said Canton Fire Chief Stephen Rich. “A lot of people worked on it, and we were appreciative of that.”

Rich said the grant will cover the wages and benefits of 28 city firefighters for two years. The grant agreement prohibits the city from laying off any of those firefighters during the year after the grant expires. But Rich said he expects enough firefighters will have retired by then to free up enough money to continue to employ the 28.

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