March 21, 2014

Springfield Republican: Holyoke Fire Department could hire 8 new firefighters with $1 million federal grant

By Mike Plaisance

March 21, 2014

HOLYOKE -- The Fire Department would be able to hire eight new firefighters and pay their salaries and benefits for two years with a $1 million federal grant the city received Friday.

"That's great, couldn't have come at a better time, especially with the financial times the city is facing," Fire Chief John A. Pond said.

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, both D-Mass., and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, announced the grant Thursday.

The City Council has 30 days to accept the grant and then the city would have 90 days to bring on the new firefighters, Pond said. Any funding to the municipality must be accepted by the City Council.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded the $1,069,048 grant through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, program, said a press release from Warren, Markey and Neal.

"Our firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect our families, and this SAFER grant recognizes their outstanding service and commitment," Warren said.

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