Back On: Laid Off Elyria Firefighters Return to Work

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ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) - Over the last year, 23 firefighters have been laid off in Elyria.

Thanks to the federal government, they returned back to work Sunday.

"It's been a long time coming, we've been fighting hard. There's safer money which is Federal money. I've been to DC, lobbying, pushing hard, letting them know this is more about bringing jobs back, we've got to bring safety back to the citizens of Elyria," said Dean Marks Elyria Fire Union President.

The grant will pay for 23 firefighters for just two years, so the guys who were laid off may find themselves back in that same situation.

"We're hoping everyone makes whatever adjustments that need to be done. Make it last more than two years this time," said Eric Kessler, laid-off firefighter.

The staffing was so low during the layoffs, three Elyria fire stations were closed.

"So response times were definitely longer in some areas of the city and now that we are back to a better manning situation we are opening up some more stations," said Dan Budzar, laid-off firefighter.

It's the first time since February all three are back up and running.

Because of retirement and attrition, only 15 guys came back to work - the city is hiring 9 more to start as soon as possible.

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