FEMA grant saves 26 firefighting jobs in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

FEMA grant saves 26 firefighting jobs in Portland

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Firefighters say a federal grant will allow a better response to major 5-alarm fires, like this one earlier this year on MLK Jr. Blvd. Firefighters say a federal grant will allow a better response to major 5-alarm fires, like this one earlier this year on MLK Jr. Blvd.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV/AP) -

A $4.5 million federal grant has been awarded to Portland Fire & Rescue, allowing it to retain 26 firefighting jobs that were to be cut because of city budget problems.

The grant awarded Thursday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency also allows the bureau to reverse its plan to close two fire stations.

The FEMA grant funds the positions for only two years, but City Commissioner Dan Saltzman said he will "make certain" the City Council comes up with money to pay for the positions in the future.

The bureau applied for the grant this summer after learning about the planned layoffs.

A statement from the Portland firefighters union described it as "a great holiday gift" to firefighters and their families.

Also in a statement Thursday, Fire Chief Erin Janssens thanked firefighters for keeping their focus this fall even though jobs were at risk.

 

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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