New Bedford's fire department will soon be fully staffed again, with the help of a $12.2 million federal grant.
Sen. John Kerry and Mayor Scott Lang said Monday the two-year Homeland Security grant will be used to hire 45 firefighters, including some who were laid off two years ago because of budget cuts.
Lang said he expects the department to be fully staffed by the summer.
Fire Chief Michael Gomes said the new hires will restore a peace of mind to the city.
"We will be able to reconstruct those two fire companies that were closed, which will provide better fire protection for those neighborhoods that were affected by those closures," he said.
The grant covers salaries and all benefits, but not overtime.
This program aired on February 22, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.