LORAIN, OH (WOIO) - Twenty-three firefighters in Lorain are waiting to hear if they will have a job on July 1. The department is dependent on a grant from the federal government called the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.
Fire Chief Tom Brown said he's optimistic that the department will receive the funds, since the city won a similar grant in 2010. Brown said the department handled that money well, and has shown that they find creative ways to handle situations as a department.
He's optimistic, but also realistic about what it would mean for the department and the city, which is 24 square miles, and the 10th largest city in the state.
Brown said unfortunately in his 11 years as chief, he's faced the prospect of layoffs for nine of them, and he said his firefighters have, too.
Brown said that the department should learn if it received the grant by mid-June. He did credit the city with keeping the firefighters working up until the department knows if they received a grant or not, saying that the city could have laid personnel off earlier.
Brown also said the grant lasts for two years, so if the department receives it, he said he hopes that the city figures out budget solutions so the same dilemma doesn't arise again in two years.
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