Indiana Fire Departments Get Federal Hiring Grants

January 15, 2014

Fire departments in three Indiana cities are starting the new year with federal grants of nearly $1 million or more to hire additional firefighters or recall others who were laid off.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Terre Haute will receive about $1.5 million, Anderson will get more than $1.2 million and Hammond will receive about $965,000.

Donnelly said the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency must be used to hire additional firefighters. The grants cover a two-year period.

Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher said he’ll use his department’s grants to hire 10 additional firefighters – the same number of firefighters his department had been short.

“This is a nice way to start 2014,” Fisher told the Tribune-Star.

The Anderson Fire Department will use its grant money to recall seven firefighters who had been on layoff status through 2015.

Mark Keck, Anderson’s assistant deputy fire chief, said the department had laid off eight firefighters in 2012 and recalled one in 2013. He said that with the return of the seven firefighters the department will have a total of 119 employees.

“We’re glad to have the guys coming back,” he told The Herald Bulletin.

Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith said there’s no commitment by the city to fund the seven positions beyond the two years.

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