A Kentucky fire department should soon be near its full force after the city of Lexington received a $2.6 million federal grant.
International Association of Fire Fighters Local 526 President Chris Bartley told the Lexington Herald-Leader that the grant announced Tuesday will pay for a fourth class of fire recruit training, likely to start in February.
The city had approximately 481 firefighters after about 40 retired at the end of 2011. The 28 additional hires covered by the grant will bring the department close to its full authorized strength of 536.
U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler said in competing for the grant, it helped that Lexington firefighters are deployed to nearby communities to help out. The city recently sent firefighters to West Liberty after tornadoes destroyed much of that community in March.
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