PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) -- The Pawtucket Fire Department is receiving more than $4 million in federal funding to help hire more firefighters and restore previous staffing levels.
The announcement was made Monday morning at the Engine 1 Fire Station on Cottage Street by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressman David Cicilline.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant will allow the Pawtucket Fire Department to fill several firefighter positions that were vacated in recent years and left unfilled because of budget constraints.
"It addressed the idea of health and safety to the firefighters. They will be able to not have to work as many hours," said Chief William Sisson of the Pawtucket Fire Department.
The SAFER grant will cover pay and benefits for the new positions for the next two years.
Just last month, the Pawtucket Fire Department was awarded another federal grant worth $528,000 to purchase 75 new self contained breathing apparatus units.
Chief Sisson says all 21 firefighters will be ready to start on May 6.